Muslims using Roman Catholic Apologetic Arguments

  1. Discussion about Sola Scriptura at a Muslim blog.   (for some reason, I cannot get rid of that “1.” there at beginning – it was originally with Jonathan Doyle’s first comment in the comment box. ) 

    Muslims are using Roman Catholic arguments to cast doubt on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and the basis for the canon; and Muslims use those doubts and attacks against Sola Scriptura to then try and cast doubt on the reliability of the NT books.   I noticed this a long time ago in evangelism with Muslims. And then when I started listening to Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, his debates and reading his books, and visiting regularly his web-site sometime in 1996- 2004,  (when it had these articles on Roman Catholicism), I noticed it even more in the details of Roman Catholic agruments and how Muslims would bring up the same objections as regards the canon and Sola Scriptura and church history details.  


    I remember when Dr. White started sharing why he was going into debating Muslims – because a lot of the apologetic issues are the same on the history of the text of the Bible, textual variants, inerrancy, the canon, Sola Scriptura, church history, etc.   His experience with Roman Catholics, King James Only advocates, Mormons, atheists, and others had prepared him for defending the faith against Muslims. Dealing with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Oneness Pentecostals prepared him for dealing with Muslim objections to the Trinity. 


    Jonathan Doyle is a Roman Catholic.  If I recall correctly, he is a traditionalist Roman Catholic, one who probably holds to the Tridentide Latin Mass as binding, sees the “no salvation outside of the church” as a binding tradition, and Vatican 2 (1963-1968) was wrong to soften that tradition, and probably disagrees with a lot of Vatican 2 and the modern Popes since that time.  But he has not shared the exact details of his views on those issues.


    There are other comments since I grabbed this much of the discussion.  Paul Bilal Williams, )for anyone who does not know by now and this is your first time visiting), is an English convert to Islam.

    1.  Jonathan Doyle

    For once I fully agree. From the Catholic point of view, the Christian religion existed before the Gospels even started to be written, so it is absurd to claim one is based on the other.

    • the Catholic position is certainly more historically accurate and plausible than the evangelical.

    • Sola Scriptura never says that the Christian religion did not exist from 30 AD to 48 AD or did not exist until 96 AD, the common date for believing all the NT books were written by that date. Most were written before 70 AD.

      Protestants who hold to Sola Scriptura agree that the church existed in that period of 30-96 AD, while the Scriptures were being written; and oral preaching and teaching (God-breathed tradition) of the gospel was authoritative – 2 Thess. 2:15.

      • Ken who decided which books were to go into the Bible? And by what authority to do reject the Bible commonly accepted by the early church? Who elected you a Protestant Pope or are you self-appointed?

  2. The anti-thesis principle against the thesis principle of Sola Scriptura is the claim of the Roman Catholic Church is that the Pope is infallible, and that was not proclaimed as dogma until 1870. This is very late in history, and totally absent from the early centuries of church history. The RC claim is also that only it as a church is infallible and infectible – before the dogma was proclaimed in 1870, the church and bishops and councils, etc. were infallible in doctrinal decisions and interpretations.

    Sola Scriptura is only saying that only the Bible is infallible; the Pope and the church are not infallible; and there are many different definitions of what “tradition” is. Some traditions are derived from Scripture and good; others are not.

    Protestants believe in church and church authority to teach and interpet the Scriptures properly. (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:14-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-7; 2 Tim. 2:2) It is the Roman Church that claims only it has the right and authority to interpret the Scriptures and that it is always infallible in her interpretations and decisions.

    When that Roman Church started adding other doctrines to “the faith” and claimed that they were from the apostles, like penance instead of repentance, purgatory, indulgences, NT priests, ex opere operato priestly powers, Transubstantiation, the treasury of merit, good works as meriting salvation, prayers to dead saints, relics, icons, statues and people praying to those inanimate objects, exalting Mary too much in prayer and praise – those things eclipsed the teaching of justification by faith alone, especially in Romans and Galatians and the gospel of John and is totally consistent with James 2; – when the RC Church was more exposed for making mistakes and adding doctrines not found in the Scriptures(Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, etc), the fall-back position was Sola Scriptura, that Luther relied on, in order to back up authority for protesting against the false doctrines that the RCC had been slowly adding through the centuries.

    • In fact there was no such thing as a Papal office in the early church. Even Gregory in 601 AD, the bishop of Rome, rebuked John of Constantinople for claiming he was “Universal Bishop”. Cyprian (lived 200-258 AD), bishop of Carthage, in 258 AD, along with 86 other bishops from around the Christian world, rebuked Stephen, bishop of Rome, for claiming that he was “bishop over all the other bishops”.

      See here for the 7th Council of Carthage, where Cyprian, Firmillian, and 85 other bishops condemn Stephen, the bishop of Rome, for his arrogant claims.

      http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.vi.i.html

  3. ‘Sola Scriptura is only saying that only the Bible is infallible’

    What is the scriptural evidence for this claim?

    • The principle of Sola Scriptura is not explicit in one verse, but the principle is derived theologically from bringing many texts together in a harmonized and consistent way.

      2 Timothy 3:16 – since all Scripture is God-breathed, then it is infallible.

      Jesus said to test traditions by the word of God, the Scriptures – Matthew 15:1-20, Mark 7:1-23.

      The “only” is implied from these passages, because the only other atlernatiive is man and his interpretations, and additions to Scripture; therefore only the Scriptures are infallible, not man. Therefore the Pope and councils and other traditions are not infallible, since they are man made. The early E. creeds (Nicea, Constantinople, Apostles, Athanasian) and 4 ecumenical councils were right because the doctrinal decisions were based on Scripture, not tradition. They are secondary sources of authority, along with local church elders/teachers/pastors/overseers, but they are not infallible.

      John 17:17 – Jesus said to the Father – “Thy Word if truth”. John 17:8 – the words from the Father to Jesus, then to the apostles and later the Spirit would bring all things to their remembrance and lead them into all the truth – John chapters 14, 16. Psalm 119 – 176 verses on the truthfulness of God’s Word.

      Only God is infallible. (not man)
      God spoke through prophets and apostles.
      the Prophets and apostles wrote the Word of God down in Scriptures.
      God cannot lie.
      So, the Scripture are also infallible.
      When traditions are tested and questioned, the Scriptures overrule them; therefore only the Scriptures are infallible, since man is not infallible and his interpretations and traditions therefore are not infallible.
      Traditions (oral teaching and preaching during the process of the time of en-Scripturation – 30-96 AD) of the apostles (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; I Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 15:1-9; Jude 3; Galatians 1:6-9) are infallible because the Scriptures say that they are. (in those contexts – also 1 Thessalonians 2:13 – the preaching of the gospel / word of God was accepted not as the word of men, but as the word of God.

      The unbiblical traditions of the Roman Catholic Church were man-made traditions not in Scripture at all, not even implicitly.

      The doctrines like the Trinity are Scriptural because they correctly derive from Scripture, in a consistent and harmonized way.

      • I don’t agree that “only” is implied at all anywhere in the Bible – its a very weak argument Ken. And it was not believed by Christians till the likes of Luther came along. The bizarre thing is that the Bible does not even claim to be the Word of God so why should it be the only authority!

        Ken who decided which books were to go into the Bible? And by what authority to do reject the Bible commonly accepted by the early church? Who elected you a Protestant Pope or are you self-appointed?

  4. Does the Bible ever say that the elders/teachers/pastors that the apostles appointed to lead the churches would ever be infallible?

    No.

    Therefore since we know God and His Word are infallible and man is not infallible, then by logic, only God’s Word is infallible as oppossed to man’s interpretations of the Scriptures.

    Therefore, the “only” in “Scripture Alone is the final and infallible rule of faith and practice for the church” is implied.

  5. They did not “decide” but they discerned and testified which ones were God-breathed and already existed, being written between 48-96 AD.

    Irenaeus (200 AD)
    Tertullian (200 AD)
    Origen (250 AD)
    Athanasius (died in 373 AD)

    rightly discerned which Scriptures were already in existence and God-breathed. (Though Irenaeus and Tertullian did not mention a few of the lesser known books. They are silent on Philemon, James, 2 Peter, and 2-3 John, and Irenaeus is silent on Jude, but Tertullian approves of Jude)

    • so if they “discerned and testified which ones were God-breathed” why do you reject their Bible? You are not very consistent!

      • I am talking about the 27 New Testament books – Origen’s list (I mentioned that in a previous post in another one of your articles here) around 250 AD is the same as Athanasius’ list in 367 AD as to the canon.

        Athanasius did not approve of most of the Apocrypha Jewish books written between 300-100 BC – his list does include Baruch and the letter of Jeremiah as part of Jeremiah as “one book”; but he did not approve of Maccabees and the others that the RC claims is infallible), and neither did Jerome. Jerome was one of the few who actually investigated the Jewish canon by going to Israel and living among the Jews there and learning Hebrew. His investigations confirm the list of the OT canon that was meant in Luke 24:44; Luke 11:51 (“from the blood of Abel” = Genesis, “to the blood of Zechariah” = the Zechariah killed in 2 Chronicles 24 – the last book written in the OT and Jews to this day still have that one as the last book in their canon, written around 430 BC); and Romans 3:2. (“the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God”). Josephus in Against Apion 1:8 also confirms the correct OT canon as the same as the Protestant OT canon. So we have Jesus, Josephus, the Jews, and Jerome on our side of that argument.

        Even Gregory “the Great”, bishop of Rome, around 601-604, wrote against the Apocrypal books, as did Cardinal Cajetan, who oppossed Luther in 1518-1521 – they said, “the judgment of Jerome on those books is the correct doctrine.”

      • Ken are you aware that the so-called deuterocanonical books were accepted as scripture by most of the early church (with one or two exceptions)?

        You even admit that Athanasius’s Bible contains books you reject. I have informed you already that Augustine in the early 5th century gives a list of books commonly accepted in the Catholic Church which is identical to the Roman Catholic canon today.

        You keep mentioning Jerome as if this proves anything. I am talking about the CHURCH as a whole which you inconsistently claim ‘rightly discerned which Scriptures were already in existence and God-breathed” and then you reject many of these very books!

        Talk about confusion and inconsistency!

  6. “Who elected you Protestant Pope?”

    There is no such thing as a “Papal office” in Scripture, nor in early church history – the concept started gaining traction only after the split between the Eastern Orthodox Church vs. The Roman Catholic Church (1054 AD) and it grew from there. It is completely absent from the first 600 years of early church history.

    So, there is no such thing as a “Protestant Pope” either. The concept is a false concept.

    • oh there have been many Protestant Popes. Calvin and Luther are just two. But they disagree about important matters of Christian doctrine.

      • Jonathan Doyle

        “Every Protestant is his own Pope” as Catholics used to say.

  7. Augustine wrote the following in his great work On Christian Doctrine. Note the passages in bold.

    Chapter 8

    The most skilful interpreter of the sacred writings, then, will be he who in the first place has read them all and retained them in his knowledge, if not yet with full understanding, still with such knowledge as reading gives,—those of them, at least, that are called canonical. For he will read the others with greater safety when built up in the belief of the truth, so that they will not take first possession of a weak mind, nor, cheating it with dangerous falsehoods and delusions, fill it with prejudices averse to a sound understanding. Now, in regard to the canonical Scriptures, he must follow the judgment of the greater number of catholic churches; and among these, of course, a high place must be given to such as have been thought worthy to be the seat of an apostle and to receive epistles.

    Accordingly, among the canonical Scriptures he will judge according to the following standard: to prefer those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some do not receive. Among those, again, which are not received by all, he will prefer such as have the sanction of the greater number and those of greater authority, to such as are held by the smaller number and those of less authority. If, however, he shall find that some books are held by the greater number of churches, and others by the churches of greater authority (though this is not a very likely thing to happen), I think that in such a case the authority on the two sides is to be looked upon as equal.

    13. Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is to be exercised, is contained in the following books:—Five books of Moses, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one book of Joshua the son of Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth, which seems rather to belong to the beginning of Kings; next, four books of Kings, and two of Chronicles, these last not following one another, but running parallel, so to speak, and going over the same ground. The books now mentioned are history, which contains a connected narrative of the times, and follows the order of the events. There are other books which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected neither with the order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as Job, and Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Ezra, which last look more like a sequel to the continuous regular history which terminates with the books of Kings and Chronicles. Next are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David; and three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus, are ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach. Still they are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they have attained recognition as being authoritative. The remainder are the books which are strictly called the Prophets:

    twelve separate books of the prophets which are connected with one another, and having never been disjoined, are reckoned as one book; the names of these prophets are as follows:—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; then there are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel.The authority of the Old Testament is contained within the limits of these forty- four books.

    • Yes, I already knew that about Augustine; but he was wrong on that issue. He didn’t know Hebrew nor was he fluent in Greek and because of that, could not do deep exegesis of the text (he admitted he hated Greek and was not good at it); just Latin.

  8. Ken are you aware that the so-called deuterocanonical books were accepted as scripture by most of the early church (with one or two exceptions)?

    Yes, by the influence of Augustine – the local councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) – both were under Augustine’s influence; whom you mention in your next paragraph. But Augustine was wrong on that issue; he was a fallible human. He wrote many great things; but he was fallible and made mistakes.

    But Jesus and the apostles never quoted from the Deuter-canonicals that the Roman Catholic Church declared “inspired” and “canon” over one millennium later.

    Everyone knowledgable about the situation admits that the early church was still unclear and debating the OT apocrypha books all the way until the Council of Trent. (1545-1563)

    But in the early church it was more than one or two exceptions:

    The fact that they (Melito, Origen, Athanasius) accepted one or two books of the Apocrypha and rejected the others is telling.

    9 Evidences, “not one or two” –

    1. Jesus – by his statements in Luke 24:44 and 11:51 – shows what the OT canon of the Jews was at the time of His ministry.

    2. Josephus – Against Apion 1:8 – same as Protestant OT canon.

    3. The Jews from 90 AD onward – gathering at Jamnia – they made it clear that those books were not canonical Scripture.

    4. Melito of Sardis (died in 180 AD) – includes Wisdom, but rejects most others)
    5. Origen (rejected some; accepted others, inconsistent)
    6. Athanasius – already mentioned his position.

    7. Jerome

    8. Gregory the Great (601-604 AD – this shows that it was not a dogmatic or church wide decision yet; although very common through the influence of Augustine.)

    9. Cardinal Cajetan (1518 – 1521 – time period of disputes with Luther)

    9 is more than just “one or two exceptions”.

  9. “But Augustine was wrong on that issue; he was a fallible human. He wrote many great things; but he was fallible and made mistakes.”

    What was he wrong about? You are a bit vague.

    Augustine wrote, ‘Accordingly, among the canonical Scriptures he will judge according to the following standard: to prefer those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some do not receive.’

    His methodology is sound. The scriptures he lists are those in use throughout the Catholic Church. Books such as Tobit and Judith are part of the commonly accepted Bible.

    I am amazed that you, who live 2014, can know better than a 5th century bishop about what Bible was use throughout the 5th century church!

    ‘But Jesus and the apostles never quoted from the Deuter-canonicals that the Roman Catholic Church declared “inspired” and “canon” over one millennium later.’

    That is an argument from silence that proves absolutely nothing. ‘The Song of Songs’ is not quoted anywhere in the NT but do you reject it? You are being inconsistent Ken.

    • (Paul Williams wrote:) What was he wrong about? You are a bit vague.

      Augustine was wrong as to the Apocryphal books being “canon” or “standard”, in principle.

      I don’t know if the majority of churches at the time had that view, etc. That would take a lot of time and research.

      In another place, Augustine argues for the Apocrypha based on “the wonderful testimonies of the martyrs” (not an exact quote, it will take me a while to track that down.)

  10. Jonathan Doyle – I appreciate you and your comments here at PW’s blog, and your arguments for the Deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity against Islam, even though we respectully disagree with the issues that have always divided Protestants vs. the Roman Catholic Church.

    • Catholic Doyle is right about the Bible – he follows the same canon as the great Augustine reported was in universal use in the 5th century. You have made yourself into your own Pope Ken. How ironic!

  11. ‘Augustine was wrong as to the Apocryphal books being “canon” or “standard”, in principle.’

    Oh come on Ken, Augustine is bearing witness to the most commonly excepted books in the Church of his time. This is his whole argument. He’s not offering you his personal opinion but the consensus of the Church. You have failed to come up with any evidence that Augustine was seriously wrong in his reporting of this widespread agreement about the canon.

    “I don’t know if the majority of churches at the time had that view, etc.”

    Lol! Its hilarious how you ignore a first hand reliable Christian witness to the 5th century canon because you don’t like the truth.

  12. Paul,
    You are correct that the NT does not directly quote the Song of Solomon as Scripture, but the Jews in Jesus’ day accepted it as holy Scripture and they rejected the apocryphal books. (Josephus Against Apion 1:8 included Song of Solomon, as did the other Jews at that time. So that is included in the “Writings” ( Ketovim) section of the T-N-K (Torah – Nabi’im (prophets) – Ketovim – “Writings” – Jesus affirms that in Luke 24:44 and Luke 11:51.

    So, Romans 3:2 stands – the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

    Ephesians 5:21-33 may contain an allusion to Song of Solomon, in a typology kind of way.

  13. oh so you now agree with the Jews who rejected Jesus and the apostles who never once mentioned the Song of Solomon as Scripture!! lol

  14. The Jews were correct on Song of Solomon as canonical Scripture; but the the leaders – Pharisees, Saducees, chief priests, scribes, lawyers, etc. were wrong to reject Jesus and the apostles, though not all Jews rejected Christ.

    It takes some critical thought to distinquish between different issues.

    15.  Ken Temple

    Paul Williams, a Muslim, calls Augutine, “the great Augustine” !!

    Why would you call him great?
    He believed in the Deity of Christ.
    He believed in the Trinity, and wrote an excellent book defending it.
    He believed in original inherited sin, something Islam emphatically denies.
    He believed Jesus is the eternal Son of God.
    He believed in the Bible as God’s word and its message was not corrupted. (He acknowledged some scribal errors in copies.)
    He believed in the death of Christ on the cross as real history and as an effective ransom and atonement for sin.

    He believed in God’s sovereign Grace and the doctrines that influenced Luther and Calvin –

    So it is you who are inconsistent, big time.

    A good book on Augustine – The Triumph of Grace, by Nick Needham

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Triumph-Grace-Augustines-Salvation/dp/0946462585

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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19 Responses to Muslims using Roman Catholic Apologetic Arguments

  1. Sam Shamoun says:

    Ken, what makes Williams’ comments so hilarious is that it again shows that he really is an ignoramus who doesn’t have a clue when it comes to knowing what the Holy Bible and the Quran teach on this issue.

    For instance, the Quran itself testifies that the Hebrew Scriptures WERE ENTRUSTED TO THE JEWS:

    But why do they come to thee for decision, when they have (their own) law before them? – therein is the (plain) command of God; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) People of Faith. It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to God’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of God’s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers. We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers. And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God. S. 5:43-46 Yusuf Ali

    We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.” S. 17:2

    We did aforetime give Moses the (Book of) Guidance, and We gave the book in inheritance to the Children of Israel, – A Guide and a Message to men of Understanding. S. 40:53-54

    We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book, the Power of Command, and Prophethood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favoured them above the nations. And We granted them Clear Signs in affairs (of Religion): it was only after knowledge had been granted to them that they fell into schisms, through insolent envy among themselves. Verily thy Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgment as to those matters in which they set up differences. S. 45:16-17 Y. Ali

    The Islamic scripture even exhorts Muslims to ask the Children of Israel concerning OT events such as Moses and the Exodus:

    To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs: Ask the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: “O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery! S. 17:101

    Therefore, since both the New Testament and the Quran affirm that God revealed his laws and decrees to Israel, and not to any other nation, this means that Christians and Muslims must turn to the Jews to discover whether they ever accepted the Apocrypha as part of the OT canon.

    Now isn’t this quite hilarious? The Quran basically concurs with the blessed Apostle Paul which means that even Williams’ own false prophet recognized the importance of consulting the Jews for a correct understanding of the OT canon!

    To put this in the words of Williams, Muhammad agreed with the Jews who not only rejected Jesus and the apostles, but also Muhammad who never once mentioned the Song of Solomon as Scripture!! NOW THAT IS LOL!!!!!

  2. It shouldn’t surprise me that Muslims are using Roman Catholic Arguments, I have seen some use Jewish Counter Missionary arguments, which disarm Islam in the first place.

  3. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: The RC claim is also that only it as a church is infallible and infectible – before the dogma was proclaimed in 1870, the church and bishops and councils, etc. were infallible in doctrinal decisions and interpretations.”

    Jesus is a fallible man whose prophesy on a succession in which “gates of hell can’t prevail upon” can’t be fulfilled. In certain extent, Gamaliel is right:
    Acts 5:38 For if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

  4. Ken Temple says:

    Jesus did not promise / prophesy about a “succession”, especially the way the Roman Catholics teach about their own doctrine of apostolic succession. The promise is that there will always the church – true believers in history.

    There is always “the Church” – believers in Christ throughout history = “spiritual death will not overcome true believers” – because the Church was bought by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 5:25; Acts 20:28 – purchased by the blood of God”; Revelation 5:9 – purchased by the blood of the lamb – but some churches apostatized and / or went liberal or died out and many were conquered and (unjustly) destroyed by the Islamic Jihads and conquerings and pressure of Dhimmitude.

  5. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says:Jesus did not promise / prophesy about a “succession”, especially the way the Roman Catholics teach about”

    At least, God really sets a “infallible” hierarchy of the “church”, hence it does refer to the real structure of church where succession should be maintained to prove that the gates of hell can’t prevail upon it. Do you think the God errs?
    1Cor 12:28
    And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Now, the question is, which one is the promised church (altogether with its hierarchy and succession) from 1st to 15th century? Otherwise, the promise has failed, none of church can be protected from fallibility of hell, hence Jesus is a fallible man.

  6. Ken Temple says:

    there are no more apostles or prophets after the last apostle died – the apostle John. Written revelation was finished and complete – Jude 3, John 14, 16 (the Holy Spirit will lead you into all the truth), Hebrews 1:1-3

    Local churches are to have a team of elders/overseers. (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Philippians 1:1)

    But they are not infallible and they have responsibility to always stay Biblical and doctrine and pure.

  7. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: But they are not infallible”

    Is God’s election of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rank for the church a fallible thing? If so, gates of hell must have prevailed against the church.

    You just grossly contradict yourself with a partial belief that God sets only apostles (1st) and prophets (2nd) for church, but not 3rd rank and its subgroups: teachers, miracle-workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    • Ken Temple says:

      The proper translation is “the gates of hades” (not hell) –

      “the gates of hades” does not mean heresies or demons or the devil will not be able to come against the church, it means that death will not overtake the church, the true believers in Christ – it means that true believers will not die spiritually forever, and there will always be true believers in Christ in history. The church is not primarily a building or organization, but a body of believers who are regenerated and love the Lord and meet for worship, bible study, prayer, Lord’s supper, etc. (Acts 2:37-46; Romans 12; I Cor. 12)

      hades means the place of the dead or the grave or death; whereas hell is the lake of fire that will burn continuously forever for unbelievers (those who don’t repent and receive Christ as savior from sin and Lord of their life – John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-15; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 13:1-5; Matthew 5:21-30), the devil, demons. Revelation 20:10-15; Rev. 14:10

      and death, even hades were thrown into the lake of fire” Revelation 20:14

      Those gifts were given to the church, and they exercised all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the first century. Once Scripture was complete, there was no more need for gifts like tongues (miraculously speaking a foreign language without process of learning) (obviously real languages – Acts 2:6-11, I Cor. 14:10-11). I don’t believe people have a special gift of healing anymore, like the apostles had, or ability to foretell the future ( Prophesy) anymore. Faith-healers like Benny Hinn have been discredited. But God still heals sometimes when He wills when we pray and surrender to Him. “Your will be done” is key attitude. (matthew 6:9-11; Luke 22:44; 1 John 5:14)

      the gifts today that true believers have are: (Romans 12:3-10)
      Preaching – proclaiming the written word and rebuking sin. (application of prophesy without claims of being able to tell the future.)

      teaching
      serving
      giving
      encouragement/ exhortation
      leadership / organization
      mercy

      pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12)
      evangelists (Ephesians 4;11-12)
      hospitality ( I Peter 4:11)

      Evangelistic missionary church planting (the application of an apostle today, without claims of authority or miracles or revelation as in the first century prophets.) (apostle of the churches – sent out ones of the churches to do evangelism and missions.)

      Apostles and prophets were foundational gifts that laid the foundation of the church in the first century. (giving revelation, writing the NT, having authority to guide the churches, missionary church planting) There are no more apostles once John died. (around 100 AD)

      Christians today disagree with each other on that issue. Here is a good debate on that issue: I agree more with Sam Waldron’s position.

      http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2013/11/11/waldrons-cascade-argument/

      John Piper explains the difference between an apostle of Christ vs. an apostle of the churches (missionaries sent out) :

      http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/to-deliver-us-from-the-present-evil-age

      In the New Testament the word “apostle” had a general and particular usage. In the general sense it was used, for example, for representatives sent out by a church on a mission. In Philippians 2:25 Paul calls Epaphroditus “your apostle and minister for my need.” He had been sent by the Philippian church on a mission to give Paul their gifts. And in 2 Corinthians 8:23 the men who were appointed by the churches of Macedonia to help Paul take money to the poor in Jerusalem are called the “apostles of the churches,” that is, men appointed by the churches to represent them in this mission. In this sense we could call Tom Varno our apostle when we send him out to Uganda in a few weeks.

  8. θ says:

    Q.6, v.101 The inventor of the heavens and the earth, how can He have a son, when He has no female companion, and when He has created everything, and everything He knows?

    Since Mary is woman, Jesus could have been a valid Son per Q.6, v.101. Ironically and paradoxically, it is Christians who deny the procreated sonship.
    The context of Q.6, v.101 clearly makes a challenging argumentation by proposing a daring conditional premise how Allah could take to Himself a Son, that is if only the Son is procreated by a woman. In fact, Mary procreates Jesus without father, hence it means Jesus really could be considered a Son. The premise and conclusion meets. But Christians can’t accept it.

    The sonship argument presented by Qur’an echoes a very similar answer that Gabriel gives to one Mary’s logical question – in Qur’an and New Testament alike – that is, Can I have a son when no man touched me (Q.19, v.20)?, in which the wise angel responds her: Thy Lord says, It is easy for Me (Q.19, v.21). Weirdly, Christians fail to see how the virgin birth of Jesus actually answers Q.6, v.101, that is, Jesus is procreated by a woman.
    Hence at one sense, Qur’an clearly considers the sonship thru procreation happens, as the virgin birth answers it, but on other hand Christians can’t accept typical procreated sonship.

    That is where the irony upon ironies took place.

  9. θ says:

    Qur’an Q.6, v.101 has three interpretations:
    (i) Comparison.
    Sahibat means equal. The verse Q.6, v.101 can be read as comparative argument: If even Allah doesn’t have any equal, how can He have something less than equal, such as son? Since Allah doesn’t have co-equals, there must be no son for Him. It means Q.6, v.101 remains true: how can He have a son?

    (ii) Consequence.
    According to Christian theology, Mary can’t be elevated to be Allah’s female companion, hence there’s no Son of Allah that may come from her procreation. It means Q.6, v.101 remains true: how can He have a son?

    (iii) Heirship.
    If Mary were elevated as a Allah’s female companion (as Mariolatry of Catholicism and Collyridianism) yet her son would be just called “Son of Mary”, due to her derivative genetics in him. Her son would not anymore be the divine Son of God, hence Q.6, v.101 remains: how can He have a son?

  10. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: Once Scripture was complete, there was no more need for gifts like tongues (miraculously speaking a foreign language without process of learning) (obviously real languages – Acts 2:6-11, I Cor. 14:10-11). ”

    Well, your argument is self-defeating: There’ no more infallible church existent after 200 AD, let alone 15th century Protestant churches. After 200 AD the hell breaks loose.
    Your argument however implies the church’s succession of Catholic Popes (about 15 persons) till 200 AD were infallible, without any opposition, and authoritative?

  11. Ken Temple says:

    There is no such thing as a “Pope” (bishop of Rome being over all other bishops) in the early centuries – even Leo in 440 AD and Gregory in 601 AD did not claim that.

    One could even argue that the eastern Orthodox never understood the bishop of Rome as a Pope over all other bishops – the split in 1054 AD proves that that. There were bishops of cities in 2nd century and then of larger areas later – 400s-500s. yes, but not Pope or not Bishop over all other bishops.

    No human is infallible.

    All the lists of “Popes” are anachronistic (applying a later historical reality back into earlier history)

    I never mentioned 200 AD.
    The NT was finished by 100 AD.

    the church government was local and EACH LOCAL Church had a group/team/college/council of elders (Presbyters) – overseers / episcopos/ bishop – see Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:1-4. (along with Deacons (servants).

    The Elders-overseers did the preaching and teaching and pastoring/shepherding.

  12. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: The NT was finished by 100 AD. the church government was local and EACH LOCAL Church had a group/team/college/council of elders (Presbyters) ”

    The use of the title “Father” for the bishops is in accordance to Pauline theology.
    Tertullian in “On Modesty, xiii” uses the word “Pater” for bishops, by stating “And do you, good shepherd and blessed Father that you are.”
    Protestants may be unaware if Paul also boasts himself to be a “begetter” of Christians as he says in 1Cor 4:15.
    1 Cor 4:15 For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    Tertullian, On Modesty, 13.
    And do you, good shepherd and blessed Father that you are, to bring about the (desired) end of the man, grace your harangue with all the allurements of mercy in your power, and under the parable of the ewe go in quest of your goats? do you, for fear lest your ewe again take a leap out from the flock— as if that were no more lawful for the future which was not even once lawful— fill all the rest likewise full of apprehension at the very moment of granting indulgence? And would the apostle so carelessly have granted indulgence to the atrocious licentiousness of fornication burdened with incest, as not at least to have exacted from the criminal even this legally established garb of repentance which you ought to have learned from him?

    • Ken Temple says:

      All ministers / bishops/ presbyters were called “father”. (meaning spiritual father, as in 1 Cor. 4:15 and 1 Tim. 1:2 ( to Timothy my true child in the faith) but there was no exclusive office of “Pope” that meant the bishop of Rome was over all other bishops, which in later history, the title of “Pope” as bishop of bishops was used anachronistically applied to bishops earlier.

      each church did have a college / team/ council of elders (presbuteros – πρεσβυτερος )

      Acts 14:23 – “they appointed elders (plural) for each church”

      Later, Ignatius (108-117 AD) is the first one to mention a mono-episcopacy (one of the elder-bishops from the team being exalted as a one man leader over the council of elders.)

      The Greek word presbuteros morphed into Latin as “priest” when the main ecclesiastical language shifted from Greek to Latin.

  13. Ken Temple says:

    “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.”

    1 Cor. 4:15
    New American Standard Bible

  14. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: All ministers / bishops/ presbyters were called “father”. (meaning spiritual father, as in 1 Cor. 4:15 and 1 Tim. 1:2 ( to Timothy my true child in the faith) but there was no exclusive office of “Pope” that meant the bishop of Rome was over all other bishops, which in later history, the title of “Pope” as bishop of bishops was used anachronistically applied to bishops earlier.”

    Now, you shifted the main topic into other insignificant triviality.
    But importantly, at least, you could admit that the fallible Protestants can realise now there’s no blame whatsoever to have a word “Pope” for the bishops, even it was practiced by Paul. Since the Pope is a bishop, hence still he can be called “father”. Protestants may immediately and effectively stop mocking Catholics and Orthodox as “Popish”.

    For insignificant triviality, that is the use of title “Pope” only for a bishop of Rome, or the designation of higher rank or primacy of Rome’s bishop over other common bishops, it is just a historical consideration. Firstly, Peter and Paul happened to travel there. Secondly, Rome church has a claim which other churches don’t have – regardless whether it is true or deceit – that Peter succeeds to have transferred his seat to several Rome’s bishops till the end of apostleship era in 100 AD (5 Popes: Peter, Linus, Anacletus, Clement I, Evaristus).

  15. Ken Temple says:

    No, the problem is “the Pope” does not just mean only “father” today. Roman Catholic priests are called “father” today but they all understand the difference. The Coptic Church in Egypt calls their one man leader, “Pope”. The Eastern Church uses the term “Patriarch”. (same root of “father” – “the lead father”, etc.)

    “The Pope” in Roman Catholicism means the bishop over all other bishops in authority in Rome who is the vicar of Christ on earth and successor of Peter in an unbroken chain of apostolic authority and who is infallible when he speaks from the chair of Peter and means to make an authoritative ruling as pastor, theologian, & authority for all Christians.

    In the document, Unam Sanctum in 1302, Pope Boniface VIII wrote: “It is necessary in order to be saved that every human creature must submit to the bishop of Rome.”

    That is a massive contradiction to the NT, for example Romans 1:17; 3:28; 4:1-16; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Acts 15:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 2:6-7.

  16. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: In the document, Unam Sanctum in 1302, Pope Boniface VIII wrote: “It is necessary in order to be saved that every human creature must submit to the bishop of Rome.”That is a massive contradiction to the NT, for example Romans 1:17; 3:28; 4:1-16; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Acts 15:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 2:6-7.”

    At least, Protestants agree now with the word “Pope”.
    Now, concerning self-deification or divinisation thru Christ, it is different thing. It is rather a norms since the days of Peter. Unam Sanctum refers to the New Testament, and Pope Boniface VIII just acts like Peter:
    2Pet 1
    4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

    Irenaeus: “He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”
    Clement of Alexandria: “How man may become God.”
    Justin Martyr: “All men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods.”
    Theophilus of Antioch: “Keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God…”
    Hippolytus of Rome : “For you have become God..If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God.”
    Athanasius of Alexandria : “For He was made man that we might be made God.”
    Gregory of Nyssa: “mankind might at the same time be deified.”
    Augustine of Hippo : “we have also been made gods.”
    Maximus the Confessor: “In theosis, man (the image of God) becomes likened to God”
    Cyril of Alexandria: “For we too are sons and gods by grace.”
    Gregory of Nazianzus: “Become gods for (God’s) sake, since (God) became man for our sake..He make me God..Man and God blended. They became a single whole..I might be made God.”
    Basil of Caesarea: “Becoming a god is the highest goal of all.”

    Those “belly-worshipers” whom Christians called “Trinitarian Apostolic Fathers”, commit a well-known blasphemy by believing they can end up to be “gods” like Satan, in their shameful hell:
    Phil 3
    19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

    It is one of many proofs how Trinitarians are demonic without realising it. It explains why verbal deification of humans to gods (saint divinisation, Mary divinisation, self-deification) is not considered a serious sin for Catholics and other ignorant Trinitarians who believe in the words of the New Testament and of Apostolic Fathers.

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