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A PROTESTANT HISTORIAN DISCOVERS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

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  • ECT: A PROTESTANT HISTORIAN DISCOVERS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    A PROTESTANT HISTORIAN DISCOVERS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    I grew up an Evangelical Protestant in Birmingham, Alabama. My parents were loving and devoted,
    sincere in their faith, and deeply involved in our church. They instilled in me a respect for the Bible as the
    Word of God, and a desire for a living faith in Christ. Missionaries frequented our home and brought
    their enthusiasm for their work. Bookshelves in our house were filled with theology and apologetics.
    From an early age, I absorbed the notion that the highest possible calling was to teach the Christian
    faith. I suppose it is no surprise that I became a Church historian, but becoming a Catholic was the last
    thing I expected.

    My family’s church was nominally Presbyterian, but denominational differences meant very little to us. I
    frequently heard that disagreements over baptism, the Lord’s Supper, or church government were
    unimportant as long as one believed the Gospel. By this we meant that one should be “born again,” that
    salvation is by faith alone, and that the Bible is the sole authority for Christian faith. Our church
    supported the ministries of many different Protestant denominations, but the one group we certainly
    opposed was the Catholic Church.

    The myth of a Protestant “recovery” of the Gospel was strong in our church. I learned very early to
    idolize the Protestant Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin, because they supposedly had rescued
    Christianity from the darkness of medieval Catholicism. Catholics were those who trusted in “good
    works” to get them to heaven, who yielded to tradition instead of Scripture, and who worshipped Mary
    and the saints instead of God. Their obsession with the sacraments also created an enormous
    impediment to true faith and a personal relationship with Jesus. There was no doubt. Catholics were not
    real Christians.

    Our church was characterized by a kind of confident intellectualism. Presbyterians tend to be quite
    theologically minded, and seminary professors, apologists, scientists, and philosophers were frequent
    speakers at our conferences. It was this intellectual atmosphere that had attracted my father to the
    church, and his bookshelves were lined with the works of the Reformer John Calvin, and the Puritan
    Jonathan Edwards, as well as more recent authors like B.B. Warfield, A.A. Hodge, C.S. Lewis, and
    Francis Schaeffer. As a part of this academic culture, we took it for granted that honest inquiry would
    lead anyone to our version of Christian faith.

    All of these influences left definite impressions on me as a child. I came to see Christianity as somewhat
    akin to Newtonian physics. The Christian faith consisted in certain eminently reasonable and immutable
    laws, and you were guaranteed eternal life provided you constructed your life according to these
    principles. I also thought this was the message clearly spelled out in the official textbook of Christian
    theology: the Bible. Only mindless trust in human tradition or depraved indifference could possibly
    explain anyone’s failure to grasp these simple truths.

    There was one strange irony in this highly religious and theological atmosphere. We stressed that it was
    faith and not works that saves. We also confessed the classic Protestant belief that all people are “totally
    depraved,” meaning that even their best moral efforts are intrinsically hateful to God and can merit
    nothing. By the time I reached high school, I put these pieces together and concluded that religious
    practice and moral striving were more or less irrelevant to my life. It was not that I lost my faith. On the
    contrary, I absorbed it thoroughly. I had accepted Christ as my Savior and been “born again.” I believed
    that the Bible was the word of God. I also believed none of my religious or moral works had any value.
    So I quit practicing them.

    Fortunately, my indifference lasted only a few years, and I had a genuine reconversion to the faith in
    college. I found that my need for God was deeper than simple “fire insurance.” I also met a beautiful girl
    with whom I started going to Protestant services. Jill had grown up nominally Catholic, but failed to keep
    up the practice of her faith after confirmation. Together, we found ourselves growing deeper in our
    Protestant faith, and after a few months we both became disillusioned with the worldly atmosphere of
    our New Orleans University. We concluded that the Midwestern and Evangelical Wheaton College would
    provide a more spiritual environment, and we both transferred in the middle of our sophomore year
    (January 1991).

    Wheaton College is a beacon for sincere Evangelical Christians of various backgrounds. Protestants
    from many different denominations are represented, united in their commitment to Christ and the Bible.
    My childhood had taught me that theology, apologetics, and evangelism were the highest calling of a
    Christian, and I found them all in plentiful supply at Wheaton. It was there that I first thought of
    committing my life to the study of theology. It was also at Wheaton that Jill and I became engaged.

    After graduating, Jill and I were married and eventually found our way to Trinity Evangelical Divinity
    School in Chicago. My goal was to get a seminary education, and then eventually to complete a Ph.D. I
    wanted to become one of those theology professors who had been so admired in the church of my
    youth.

    I threw myself into seminary with abandon. I loved my courses in theology, Scripture, and Church history,
    and I thrived on the faith, confidence, and sense of mission that pervaded the school. I also embraced
    its anti*Catholic atmosphere. I was there in 1994 when the document “Evangelicals and Catholics
    Together” was first published, and the faculty was almost uniformly hostile to it. They saw any
    compromise with Catholics as a betrayal of the Reformation. Catholics were simply not brothers in the
    Lord. They were apostates.

    I accepted the anti-Catholic attitudes of my seminary professors, so when it came time to move on in my
    studies, I decided to focus on a historical study of the Reformation. I thought there could be no better
    preparation for assaulting the Catholic Church and winning converts than to thoroughly understand the
    minds of the great leaders of our faith — Martin Luther and John Calvin. I also wanted to understand the
    whole history of Christianity, so I could place the Reformation in context. I wanted to be able to show
    how the medieval church had left the true faith and how the Reformers had recovered it. To this end, I
    began Ph.D. studies in historical theology at the University of Iowa. I never imagined that Reformation
    Church history would move me to the Catholic Church.

    Before I began my studies in Iowa, Jill and I witnessed the birth of our first child, a son. His brother was
    born less than two years later, and a sister was arrived before we left Iowa (we now have five children).
    My wife was very busy caring for these children, while I committed myself almost entirely to my studies. I
    see today that I spent too much time in the library and not enough time with my wife, my infant sons, and
    my daughter. I think that I justified this neglect by relying on my sense of mission. I had a high calling —
    to witness to the faith through theological study — and an intellectual view of the Christian faith and my
    Christian duty. For evangelical Christians, what one believes is more important than how one lives. I was
    learning how to defend and promote those beliefs. What could be more important?

    I began my Ph.D. studies in September of 1995. I took courses in early, medieval, and Reformation
    Church history. I read the Church Fathers, the scholastic theologians, and the Protestant Reformers. At
    each stage, I tried to relate later theologians to earlier ones, and all of them to the Scriptures. I had a
    goal of justifying the Reformation and this meant, above all, investigating the doctrine of “justification by
    faith alone.” For Protestants, this is the most important doctrine to be “recovered” by the Reformation.

    The Reformers had insisted that they were following the ancient church in teaching “faith alone” and for
    proof they pointed to the writings of the Church Father Augustine of Hippo (354–430). My seminary
    professors also pointed to Augustine as the original wellspring of Protestant theology. The reason for this
    was Augustine’s keen interest in the doctrines of original sin, grace, and justification. He was the first of
    the Fathers to attempt a systematic explication of these Pauline themes. He also drew a sharp contrast
    between “works” and “faith” (see his On the Spirit and the Letter, 412 A.D.). Ironically, it was my
    investigation of this doctrine and of St. Augustine that began my journey to the Catholic Church.

    My first difficulty arose when I began to grasp what Augustine really taught about salvation. Briefly put,
    Augustine rejected “faith alone.” It is true that he had a high regard for faith and grace, but he saw these
    mainly as the source of our good works. Augustine taught that we literally “merit” eternal life when our
    lives are transformed by grace. This is quite different from the Protestant point of view.

    The implications of my discovery were profound. I knew enough from my college and seminary days to
    understand that Augustine was teaching nothing less than the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification. I
    decided to move on to earlier Church Fathers in my search for the “pure faith” of Christian antiquity.
    Unfortunately, the earlier Church Fathers were even less help than Augustine.

    Augustine had come from Latin-speaking North Africa. Others hailed from Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria,
    Rome, Gaul, and Egypt. They represented different cultures, spoke different languages, and were associated
    with different apostles. I thought it possible that some of them might have misunderstood the
    Gospel, but it seemed unlikely that they would all be mistaken. The true faith had to be represented
    somewhere in the ancient world. The only problem was that I could not find it. No matter where I looked,
    on whatever continent, in whatever century, the Fathers agreed: salvation comes through the
    transformation of the moral life and not by faith alone. They also taught that this transformation begins
    and is nourished in the sacraments, and not through some individual conversion experience.

    At this stage of my journey, I was eager to remain a Protestant. My whole life, marriage, family, and
    career were bound up in Protestantism. My discoveries in Church history were an enormous threat to
    that identity, so I turned to biblical studies looking for comfort and help. I thought that if I could be
    absolutely confident in the Reformers’ appeal to Scripture, then I essentially could dismiss 1500 years of
    Christian history. I avoided Catholic scholarship, or books that I thought were intended to undermine my
    faith, and focused instead on what I thought were the most objective, historical, and also Protestant
    works of Biblical scholarship. I was looking for rock-solid proof that the Reformers were right in their
    understanding of Paul. What I did not know was that the best in twentieth century Protestant scholarship
    had already rejected Luther’s reading of the Bible.

    Luther had based his entire rejection of the Church on the words of Paul, “A person is justified by faith
    apart from works of the law” (Romans 3: 28). Luther assumed that this contrast between “faith” and
    “works” meant that there was no role for morality in the process of salvation (according to the traditional
    Protestant view, moral behavior is a response to salvation, but not a contributing factor). I had learned
    that the earliest Church Fathers rejected that view. I now found a whole array of Protestant scholars also
    willing to testify that this is not what Paul meant.

    The second-century Church Fathers believed that Paul had rejected the relevance of only the Jewish
    law for salvation (“works of the law” = Mosaic Law). They saw faith as the entrance to the life of the
    Church, the sacraments, and the Spirit. Faith admits us to the means of grace, but is not itself a
    sufficient ground for salvation. What I saw in the most recent and highly regarded Protestant scholars
    was the same point of view. From the last third of the twentieth century, scholars like E.P. Sanders,
    Krister Stendhal, James Dunn, and N.T. Wright have argued that traditional Protestantism profoundly
    misread Paul. According to Stendhal and others, justification by faith is primarily about Jew and Gentile
    relations, not about the role of morality as a condition of eternal life. Together, their work has been
    referred to as “The New Perspective on Paul.”

    My discovery of this “New Perspective” was a watershed in my understanding of Scripture. I saw, to
    begin with, that the “New Perspective” was the “Old Perspective” of the earliest Church Fathers. I began
    testing it against my own reading of Paul and found that it made sense. It also resolved the longstanding
    tension that I had always felt between Paul and the rest of the Bible. Even Luther had had
    difficulty in reconciling his reading of Paul with the Sermon on the Mount, the Epistle of St. James, and
    the Old Testament. Once I tried on the “New Perspective” this difficulty vanished. Reluctantly, I had to
    accept that the Reformers were wrong about justification.

    These discoveries in my academic work were paralleled to some extent by discoveries in my personal
    life. Protestant theology strongly distinguishes belief from behavior, and I began to see how this had
    affected me. From childhood, I had always identified theology, apologetics, and evangelism as the
    highest calling in Christian life, while the virtues were supposed to be mere fruits of right belief.
    Unfortunately, I found that the fruits were not only lacking in my life, but that my theology had actually
    contributed to my vices. It had made me censorious, proud, and argumentative. I also realized that it
    had done the same thing to my heroes.

    The more I learned about the Protestant Reformers the less I liked them personally. I recognized that my
    own founder, John Calvin, was a self-important, arrogant man who was brutal to his enemies, never
    accepted personal responsibility, and condemned anyone who disagreed with him. He called himself a
    prophet and ascribed divine authority to his own teaching. This contrasted rather starkly with what I was
    learning about Catholic theologians. Many of them were saints, meaning they had lived lives of heroic
    charity and self-denial. Even the greatest of them — men like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas — also
    recognized that they had no personal authority to define the dogma of the Church.

    Outwardly, I remained staunchly anti-Catholic. I continued to attack the Church and to defend the
    Reformation, but inwardly I was in psychological and spiritual agony. I found that my theology and my
    life’s work were founded on a lie, and that my own ethical, moral, and spiritual life were deeply lacking. I
    was rapidly losing my motivation to disprove Catholicism, and instead I wanted simply to learn the truth.
    The Protestant Reformers had justified their revolt by an appeal to “Scripture alone.” My studies in the
    doctrine of justification had shown me Scripture was not as clear a guide as the Reformers alleged.
    What if their whole appeal to Scripture was misguided? Why, after all, did I treat Scripture as the final
    authority?

    When I posed this question to myself, I recognized that I had no good answer. The real reason I
    appealed to Scripture alone was that this is what I had been taught. As I studied the issue, I discovered
    that no Protestant has ever given a satisfactory answer to this question. The Reformers did not really
    defend the doctrine of “Scripture alone.” They merely asserted it. Even worse, I learned that modern
    Protestant theologians who have tried to defend “Scripture alone” do so by an appeal to tradition. This
    struck me as illogical. Eventually, I realized that “Scripture alone” is not even in Scripture. The doctrine is
    self-refuting. I also saw that the earliest Christians knew no more of “Scripture alone,” than they had
    known of “faith alone.” On the issues of how-we-are-saved and how-we-define-the-faith, the earliest
    Christians found their center in The Church. The Church was both the authority on Christian doctrine as
    well as the instrument of salvation.

    The Church was the issue I kept coming back to. Evangelicals tend to view the Church as simply an
    association of like-minded believers. Even the Reformers, Luther and Calvin, had a much stronger view
    of the Church than this, but the ancient Christians had the most sublime doctrine of all. I used to see
    their emphasis on Church as unbiblical, contrary to “faith alone,” but I began to realize that it was my
    evangelical tradition that was unbiblical.

    Scripture teaches that the Church is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Evangelicals tend to dismiss
    this as mere metaphor, but the ancient Christians thought of it as literally, albeit mystically, true. St.
    Gregory of Nyssa could say, “He who beholds the Church really beholds Christ.” As I thought about this,
    I realized that it spoke to a profound truth about the biblical meaning of salvation. St. Paul teaches that
    the baptized have been united to Christ in His death, so that they might also be united to Him in
    resurrection (Romans 6:3*6). This union literally makes the Christian a participant in the divine nature (2
    Peter 1:4). St. Athanasius could even say, “For He was made man that we might be made God” (De
    incarnatione
    , 54.3). The ancient doctrine of the Church now made sense to me because I saw that
    salvation itself is nothing other than union with Christ and a continual growth into His nature. The Church
    is no mere association of like-minded people. It is a supernatural reality because it shares in the life and
    ministry of Christ.

    This realization also made sense of the Church’s sacramental doctrine. When the Church baptizes,
    absolves sins, or, above all, offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is really Christ who baptizes,
    absolves, and offers His own Body and Blood. The sacraments do not detract from Christ. They make
    Him present.

    The Scriptures are quite plain on the sacraments. It you take them at face value, you must conclude that
    baptism is the “bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 NAB). Jesus meant it when he
    said “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55 NAB). He was not lying when he
    promised “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” (John 20:23 NAB). This is exactly how the ancient
    Christians understood the sacraments. I could no longer accuse the ancient Christians of being
    unbiblical. On what grounds could I reject them at all?

    The ancient Christian doctrine of the Church also made sense of the veneration of saints and martyrs. I
    learned that the Catholic doctrine on the saints is just a development of this biblical doctrine of the body
    of Christ. Catholics do not worship the saints. They venerate Christ in His members. By invoking their
    intercession, Catholics merely confess that Christ is present and at work in His Church in Heaven.
    Protestants often object that the Catholic veneration of saints somehow detracts from the ministry of
    Christ. I understood now that the reverse is actually true. It is the Protestants who limit the reach of
    Christ’s saving work by denying its implications for the doctrine of the Church.

    My studies showed this theology fleshed out in the devotion of the ancient Church. As I continued my
    investigation of Augustine, I learned that this “Protestant hero” thoroughly embraced the veneration of
    saints. The Augustine scholar Peter Brown (born 1935) also taught me that the saints were not incidental
    to ancient Christianity. He argued that you could not separate ancient Christianity from devotion to the
    saints, and he placed Augustine squarely in this tradition. Brown showed that this was no mere Pagan
    importation into Christianity, but rather tied intimately to the Christian notion of salvation (See his The
    Cult of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity
    ).

    Once I understood the Catholic position on salvation, the Church, and the saints, the Marian dogmas also
    seemed to fall into place. If the heart of the Christian faith is God’s union with our human nature, the
    Mother of that human nature has an incredibly important and unique role in all of history. This is why the
    Fathers of the Church always celebrated Mary as the second Eve. Her “yes” to God at the annunciation
    undid the “no” of Eve in the garden. If it is appropriate to venerate the saints and martyrs of the Church,
    how much more is it appropriate to give honor and veneration to her who made possible our
    redemption?

    By the time I finished my Ph.D., I had completely revised my understanding of the Catholic Church. I saw
    that her sacramental doctrine, her view of salvation, her veneration of Mary and the saints, and her
    claims to authority were all grounded in Scripture, in the oldest traditions, and in the plain teaching of
    Christ and the apostles. I also realized that Protestantism was a confused mass of inconsistencies and
    tortured logic. Not only was Protestant doctrine untrue, but it bred contention, and could not even remain
    unchanged. The more I studied, the more I realized that my evangelical heritage had moved far not only
    from ancient Christianity, but even from the teaching of her own Protestant founders.

    Modern American Evangelicals teach that Christian life begins when you “invite Jesus into your heart.”
    Personal conversion (what they call “being born again”) is seen as the essence and the beginning of
    Christian identity. I knew from my reading of the Fathers that this was not the teaching of the early
    Church. I learned studying the Reformers that it was not even the teaching of the earliest Protestants.
    Calvin and Luther had both unambiguously identified baptism as the beginning of the Christian life. I
    looked in vain in their works for any exhortation to be “born again.” I also learned that they did not
    dismiss the Eucharist as unimportant, as I had. While they rejected Catholic theology on the sacraments,
    both continued to insist that Christ is really present in the Eucharist. Calvin even taught in 1541 that a
    proper understanding of this Eucharist is “necessary for salvation.” He knew nothing of the individualistic,
    born-again Christianity I had grown up with.

    I finished my degree in December 2002. The last few years of my studies were actually quite dark. More
    and more, it seemed to me that my plans were coming unhinged, my future obscure. My confidence was
    badly shaken and I actually doubted whether or not I could believe anything. Catholicism had started to
    seem like the most sensible interpretation of the Christian faith, but the loss of my childhood faith was
    shattering. I prayed for guidance. In the end, I believe it was grace that saved me. I had a wife and four
    children, and God finally showed me that I needed more than books in my life. Quite honestly, I also
    needed more than “faith alone.” I needed real help to live my life and to do battle with my sins. I found
    this in the sacraments of the Church. Instead of “Scripture alone,” I needed real guidance from a teacher
    with authority. I found this in the Magisterium of the Church. I found that I needed the whole company of
    saints in heaven — not just their books on earth. In sum, I found that the Catholic Church was ideally
    formed to meet my real spiritual needs. In addition to truth, I found Jesus in His Church, through His
    Mother, in the whole company of His saints. I entered the Catholic Church on November 16, 2003. My
    wife also had her own reversion to the depths of the Church and today my family is happily and
    enthusiastically Catholic. I am grateful to my parents for pointing me to Christ and the Scriptures. I am
    grateful to St. Augustine for pointing me to the Church.


    ____________
    A. David Anders, Ph.D.
    Dr. David Anders was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He began college at Tulane University in
    New Orleans, Louisiana, where he met his wife, but they both completed their degrees at Wheaton
    College in Wheaton, Illinois. Dr. Anders earned a B.A. from Wheaton (1992), an M.A. from Trinity
    Evangelical Divinity School (1995), and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa (2002), where he studied
    Reformation history and historical theology. Dr. Anders taught history and religion in Iowa and Alabama.
    He currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife and five home*schooled children (ages 1*14)
    where he have worked for 7 years in investments. Dr. Anders entered the Catholic Church on November
    16, 2003.


    http://www.chnetwork.org/story/a-pro...d-anders-ph-d/
    Last edited by Cruciform; May 5, 2016, 08:37 PM.
    "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

  • #2
    >bump<
    "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Riveting.
      Originally posted by Interplanner
      They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
      Originally posted by Interplanner
      You're too literal to get it.
      Originally posted by Interplanner
      The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

      Comment


      • #4
        "This message is hidden because SaulToPaul is on your ignore list."
        "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Posting 666 pages, regardless if it is Roman propaganda, from a Roman shill, is against TOL rules. Knock it off.
          Saint John W

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cruciform View Post
            "This message is hidden because SaulToPaul is on your ignore list."
            Devastating.
            Originally posted by Interplanner
            They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
            Originally posted by Interplanner
            You're too literal to get it.
            Originally posted by Interplanner
            The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

            Comment


            • #7
              "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SaulToPaul View Post
                Riveting.
                Next up, Mayor?:"The Journey Home - EWTN.com?"

                Produced by that clown-ette, "Mother" Angie, who wouldn't know the difference between the book of Ruth, and Ruth Buzzy.
                Saint John W

                Comment


                • #9
                  "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nobody will bother reading it Cruc. Its a far to long feel good piece regarding a subject that you should well know by know is of little interest on this board.
                    Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

                    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

                    What are my fruits today?

                    Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

                    "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
                      Nobody will bother reading it Cruc. Its a far to long feel good piece regarding a subject that you should well know by know is of little interest on this board.
                      Depends on the reader, and where he happens to be at this moment in his Christian journey. Presbyterian and Reformed (Calvinist) believers might very well be in a position where they are willing and able to honestly evaluate their own present assumptions and beliefs, as I was some eighteen years ago. This thread is for them, not you. It never entered my mind that you would be in any such position. I doubt very much that you ever will be, although if the Holy Spirit can draw me to Christ's one historic Church, he can do so for anyone.
                      "The very tradition, teaching, & faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles & preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded..." ~ St. Athanasius (4th cent.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cruciform View Post
                        The Reformers had insisted that they were following the ancient church in teaching “faith alone” and for
                        proof they pointed to the writings of the Church Father Augustine of Hippo (354–430). My seminary
                        professors also pointed to Augustine as the original wellspring of Protestant theology. The reason for this
                        was Augustine’s keen interest in the doctrines of original sin, grace, and justification. He was the first of
                        the Fathers to attempt a systematic explication of these Pauline themes. He also drew a sharp contrast
                        between “works” and “faith” (see his On the Spirit and the Letter, 412 A.D.). Ironically, it was my
                        investigation of this doctrine and of St. Augustine that began my journey to the Catholic Church.
                        Augustine the heretic is responsible for many of the false doctrines that plague Christian beliefs.
                        Learn to read what is written.

                        _____
                        The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence.
                        ~ Dr Freeman Dyson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He swapped one dead cat for another dead cat
                          One lavished upon in the Beloved
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by john w View Post
                            Next up, Mayor?:"The Journey Home - EWTN.com?"

                            Produced by that clown-ette, "Mother" Angie, who wouldn't know the difference between the book of Ruth, and Ruth Buzzy.
                            And that fella that hosts, Marcus Grodi, sent me an email once accusing me of believing a "truncated gospel".
                            I believe he wanted to fight me. He's pushing 300 lbs. I might have been in trouble.
                            Originally posted by Interplanner
                            They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
                            Originally posted by Interplanner
                            You're too literal to get it.
                            Originally posted by Interplanner
                            The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cruciform View Post
                              Cruciform, the Pompous
                              Originally posted by Interplanner
                              They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
                              Originally posted by Interplanner
                              You're too literal to get it.
                              Originally posted by Interplanner
                              The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

                              Comment

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