Evangelical Protestants can be deep in church history

Gavin Ortlund has many great videos.

Check out his You Tube channel. “Truth Unites” . See the playlist on church history/ Roman Catholicism & Eastern Orthodoxy.

The first video below, is a great overview of a thoughtful, nuanced, proper Protestant view of Church History that does not subscribe to the complete apostasy theory (like Mormons & JWs and even the original 7th Day Adventists and Campbellite movement (Churches of Christ) ascribe to; or the Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee originally was founded on; (or “BOBO” theory – that the Church blinked off after the apostles died, or with Constantine, or with Theodosius 1 or after Augustine, and then Blinked back on with Luther & Calvin. Local churches died out in history (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation chapters 2-3), but “The Church” never died – Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 16:16-18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:6-10; 5:25) My friend Rod Bennett makes this argument as probably his main argument against Protestant faith, in his books, “Four Witnesses” and “The Apostasy That Wasn’t”. (see links to articles under “Rod Bennett”.)

Local churches and whole denominations have apostatized, like liberal denominations who took over buildings and institutions who deny the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the resurrection of Christ, the Bible as inerrant and infallible, and those that promote the LGBTQ agenda, or intersectionality, etc. As Athanasius wrote about the Arian takeover: “they have the places / buildings, but you have the true faith”. (Fragment attached to Festal letter 29, 357 AD – note this is not his more famous Festal letter 39 of 367 AD) “you” = believers he is writing to who stood with him on the eternality of the Son, the Deity of Christ, and the Trinity.) See here.

The Church can have false doctrine and false practices for a long time, without it completely disappearing. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melancthon, Chemnitz, Tyndale, Cranmer, Beza, the Reformed Baptist movement – all sought to rid the Church of those false doctrines, abuses, and false practices.

The rest of the videos and links here together give a cumulative case for Protestants being deep in history and proving Newman’s false dictum wrong and staying strong in apologetic defense against the claims of Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy.

See also my previous post on “Newman’s famous false dictum and baptismal regeneration”

see also, “Why I don’t accept the Papacy” (also see the other videos where Gavin critiques the Papacy)

One of the most helpful books for Protestants to get a handle on church history vs. the claims of the Roman Catholic Church, is William Webster’s “The Church of Rome at the Bar of History”.

Gavin mentions this book in one of his videos. At the moment, I having trouble finding it again, since he has done so many good videos on this issue, and also has been a guest on other Roman Catholic, Eastern orthodox, and other Evangelical channels.

Sola Scriptura defended:

On Apostolic Succession:

Also, see the posts under the category of “Rod Bennett” (my friend who converted to Rome in 1996) and see posts under the category of “Dave Armstrong” (my informal debates with Dave Armstrong (at his combox of his old website, which I engaged with him for years, around 2004-2014 ?), a former Evangelical who converted to Rome.)


I was never persuaded nor even tempted by the claims of Roman Catholicism nor Eastern Orthodoxy. However, what I found was that I was not equipped well to deal with the Newman type arguments at first. Even after seminary and 3 courses in church history; by my friend’s Rod Bennett’s conversion to Rome, and his persuasive personality and Newman-esque argumentation; it shocked me and drove me to study deeper. But, the church history courses in seminary did give me a steady foundation to not be shocked over claims of who is the true church in the early centuries. I had known about Pliny the Elder, Emperor Domitian, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, the Didache, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, the Gnostic heretics, Marcion the heretic, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Emperor Decius, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Emperor Diocletian, Athanasius, Emperor Constantine, Augustine, Jerome, the Cappadocian fathers, John Chrysostom, Nicea and the early church councils, the process of recognizing the canon, etc., and many other personalities, events, and issues, so I was not shocked as my friend Rod Bennett was.

I am so thankful for the ministry of Dr. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries and his debates vs. Roman Catholics and his books on the issues, especially The Roman Catholic Controversy, and books on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide; and others like James Swam of “Beggar’s All” blog, the late R. C. Sproul, Michael Kruger, William Webster’s books and website, Triablogue (the late Steve Hays, Jason Engwer and John Bugay and others), Eric Svendsen, David King’s books with William Webster, and Turretinfan’s blog, and Keith Matthison’s materials, a lot of Tim Kauffman’s material -these and others pointed me in the right direction to find the answers. For links, to these and more, see my page “Important websites for apologetics and spiritual growth”.

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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