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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Francis Schaeffer: What does Roman Catholicism, humanism, and cultural relativism have in common?



Francis Schaeffer lays out clearly here the theological and philosophical roots which underlie the Roman Catholic emphasis on tradition, merits, and man's ability/inherent righteousness. This then ties in directly with modern theological liberalism and is, in my opinion, a return in essence to the ancient heresy of pelagianism or the idea that man is able to reason properly apart from the Spirit of God. Obviously, this also has implications for the Tractarian movement and the Anglo-Catholic departure from sola Scriptura. I would contend that Anglo-Catholicism is the very reason we see the Anglican Communion buying into secular humanism and the idea that homosexuality is actually good rather than evil. Conservative Anglo-Catholicism eventually leads back to theological liberalism and pelagianism and eventually antinomianism for the simple reason that it exalts human reasoning above God's revelation in Holy Scripture. The emphasis on so-called "holy" tradition is in fact an emphasis on Aquinas' view that philosophy could be done apart from God's revelation. Hence, Van Til's critique of classical apologetics seems to be legitimate according to Schaeffer's analysis.


Peace.

12 comments:

William said...

Hello Charlie Ray,

I agree that Aquinas often relied far too heavily on philosophers in his writings. It's interesting to note, though, that in spite of such errors Aquinas appears to have essentially preceded the Reformational phrase "sola scriptura" in stating that "sola canonica scriptura" is a measure of faith.

Aquinas:
"It should be noted that though many might write concerning Catholic truth, there is this difference that those who wrote the canonical Scripture, the Evangelists and Apostles, and the like, so constantly assert it that they leave no room for doubt. That is what he means when he says 'we know his witness is true.' Galatians 1:9, "If anyone preach a gospel to you other than that which you have received, let him be anathema!" The reason is that only canonical Scripture (Latin "quia sola canonica scriptura est regula fidei") is a measure of faith. Others however so wrote of the truth that they should not be believed save insofar as they say true things." (Commentary on the Gospel of John 21)

And Aquinas states likewise on the authority of Scripture in doctrine (Summa Theologica Part 1; Question 1; Article 8; Reply 2):
...the Apostle says: "Bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Hence sacred doctrine makes use also of the authority of philosophers in those questions in which they were able to know the truth by natural reason, as Paul quotes a saying of Aratus: "As some also of your own poets said: For we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28). Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors. Hence Augustine says (Epis. ad Hieron. xix, 1): "Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true, merely on account of their having so thought and written, whatever may have been their holiness and learning."
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1001.htm

(Note--The entire section of "Question 1" linked to above is a good read on this subject).

And interestingly enough--despite the common rejection of any form of sola scriptura by Roman Catholics--they end up with the practice of sola scriptura in their appointed readings for Worship.

Have a blessed Lord's Day,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, I think what Schaeffer is arguing here is that Aquinas and everyone before him did not elevate Tradition to the level of divine revelation on an equal par with Holy Scripture. This is in fact the error of the Roman Catholic Church after the time of Aquinas. Schaeffer argues that this elevation of reason by Aquinas is what begins the process of making Tradition equal to Scripture as two sides of one divine revelation. Whether or not Schaeffer's thesis is true is another matter.

This also ties in with the inhouse "Presbyterian" or "reformed" view of apologetics. R.C. Sproul and John Gerstner (and maybe Gordon Clark?) follow Aquinas and adhere to a natural revelation which precedes special revelation in proving the Christian faith to be true. That would include the three classical arguments for the existence of God: 1. Cosmological: God is the first cause. 2. Ontological: Anselm's argument that there is no higher being capable of being conceived and so God is necessarily self-existent because such a being conceived could not be conceived unless He in fact exists. 3. Teleological: The universe is too complex and vast to have brought itself into being or to be self-existent. It must therefore have been designed by an intelligent designer we know as God. On the other side are the presuppositionalists like Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahnsen. They argue that natural revelation and reason cannot prove anything so they start with special revelation: The Holy Scriptures and Jesus Christ.

This is also part of the disagreement between Emil Brunner and Karl Barth. Though both are neo-orthodox, Barth totally rejected natural revelation while Brunner did not wish to completely reject natural revelation. Barth is more orthodox on the virgin birth than Brunner because Barth allows for revelation through the mystery of Christ while Brunner rejects the virgin birth on the basis of reason and his contention that the virgin birth story arose because of the Catholic prejudice against any contact with the sexual organs even in birth.

At any rate, Aquinas is pre-medieval period and the excesses of Roman Catholic "tradition" were not yet institutionalized though one could argue that the seeds of it were there.

I would agree with the Reformed view that Scripture is inspired while the canonization of it is not. Scripture was inspired way before it was canonized or universally agreed upon just as the trinity is true way before it is officially declared to be the position of the church.

I stand with the magisterial Reformers in accepting "catholic" doctrines which are supported in Scripture and recognized by the church and tradition as such. In other words, we do not throw out the doctrines which are universally accepted by the church and tradition but we do recognize that they can only be accepted as they are proven by Scripture. Thus, the tradition is a secondary authority and therefore binding unless one can show overwhelmiingly that these "catholic" or universally accepted doctrines are not Scriptural.

I would not doubt for one minute that the Roman Catholic Church of Aquinas' day believed in sola scriptura. In fact, I agree with you on that. However, Schaeffer is saying that after Aquinas came along, the emphasis on natural revelation leads to the exaltation of tradition to the level of divine revelation. Whether or not his thesis is correct is not the point. The point is that historically and factually the Roman Catholic Church did indeed make "Tradition" equal to Scripture. This is where it is in error.

Those on the opposite extreme want to throw out everything and re-invent the wheel. I was upset to learn today that David Knox, my rector, does not believe there are two sacraments. He wants to throw out the other two! This is where he is going too far in the Anabaptist direction! The English Reformers and the Continental Reformers clearly rejected the excesses of the radical reformation and would not have agreed with him for one minute. Obviously, the New Testament over and over proves that baptism is by the mode of water and the mode of the supper is through the elements of bread and wine. ALL Protestants universally accept 2 sacraments or "ordinances" if you prefer that term. To say otherwise is heresy.

I told him that if he does not believe the 39 Articles then he is an Anabaptist and not an Anglican and he should look elsewhere. I don't mind being blunt. Heresy is heresy whether it be Anglo-Catholicism or the Anabaptist extremes. Servetus threw out the trinity to his own destruction. If you're going to argue against the two sacraments based on lousy exegesis, you might as well throw out the trinity as well. My point being that the magisterial Reformers do not absolutely reject tradition. They reform tradition by subjecting it to Holy Scripture as the final authority. BUT the church IS an authoritative secondary authority and to reject "tradition" and the opinion of the church fathers properly interpreted by Scripture and the opinion of the Protestant "catholicity" of the creeds and the "confessions of faith" is going too far. The 39 Articles are NOT optional. They are a BINDING confession of faith and to depart from what they teach is to deny the Anglican faith and to deny the Scriptural authority upon which the Articles rest. Thus, BOTH Anglo-Catholicism AND Anabaptist extremes on the other side are CONDEMNED.

I find myself in an odd place. Not only am I fighting to reform the church against Anglo-Catholicism but now I find myself fighting against Anabaptist extremes exemplified in both the charismatic expression of such and of the over-reaction of the Zwinglian tradition in the direction of the Anabaptist rejection of all church tradition whatsoever. It truly is frustrating, especially since David Knox's father, David Broughton Knox, would NEVER have suggested such an extreme view as to throw out the remaing two sacraments.

I am incredulous at the boldness of such silliness!

Sincerely,

Charlie

William said...

Hello Charlie Ray,

I believe there is a great value and truth in most if not all of the apologetic methods--and that the different approaches rightly applied actually supplement and strengthen each other (of course, any apologetic argument which is not under-girded with a firm belief in the absolute authority and infallibility of God's Word is ultimately bunk).

As for your rector, David Knox's position on the sacraments--it is unfortunately the position held by the Principal of Moore College John Woodhouse (certainly on baptism--and apparently on the Lord's Supper as well) among others. These unorthodox teachings on the sacraments have had a major influence in the overall doctrine and practice of Sydney (including the use of pizza and coke for the "celebration" of the sacrament in some parishes--though I'm fairly confident that such extreme practices do not have any official approval in Sydney).

D.Boughton Knox also denied in his writings that baptism was a sacrament or ordinance of the New Testament (whether he held this throughout his life I'm not sure) but it appears that he likely still held that the Lord's Supper was a sacrament (although to the extent he did--it was a purely symbolic memorial meal from his viewpoint). I'm sure, though, that your rector would be better able to confirm his father's position on these points than I can.

Despite all this--I greatly appreciate the strong stand of Sydney on a number of other issues.

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

p.s. (I'm not Billy--but I certainly understand the reason for confusion)

William said...

Here is just a sample of D.Broughton Knox's unfortunate belief that baptism was an optional rite and not a true Sacrament instituted by Christ (New Testament Baptism, in D. Broughton Knox Selected Works, Volume II):
"If the significance of the rite is changed to a confession of Christ, confession of Christ is better made by the mouth (Rom 10:10) within the congregation, but better still in the outside world at work or at school. To confess Christ by being immersed under water is only practised because it is believed that Jesus sent us to baptise with water. But, as Paul makes clear, this is not the case."

"Water baptism was an apostolic custom and there is no reason that those who wish to continue it should not do so, so long as they do not impose on the rite a meaning inimical to the gospel. Its New Testament meaning is [primarily] applicable in countries where the gospel is news. But it might be thought that in many heathen cultures today the better way to indicate repentance is by the changed life itself. There may be some heathen countries where water baptism for new converts is unwise, because of the angry hostility provoked. But the changed life and the meek and reverent answer to any query about the reason for the obvious hope that the Christian now has (1 Peter 3:15) may lead to further conversions." (p308-309)

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, you are misrepresenting DB Knox. I have a copy of his small commentary on the 39 Articles where he affirms that there are 2 sacraments. I think you are taking him out of context.

What he said was that baptism is not absolutely essential to salvation and there could be notable exceptions to the practice of baptism. However, I wouldn't go that far though I do agree with Knox that Cranmer made a sharp distintion between the element of water and the grace given to the believer through the sign of baptism. There is no power in the water whatsoever to regenerate. I hope we are clear on that.

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, it seems obvious to me that you do not understand either the doctrine of sola scriptura or the doctrine of the Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic position. Sola Scriptura teaches that Scripture is sufficient in and of itself. Rome teaches that Scripture is insufficient and needs an infallible interpretation. Also, Rome makes Tradition a divine revelation on equal standing with Scripture. This is heresy.

William said...

Hello Charlie Ray--as for sola scriptura--I assume you are referring to my side note on Roman Catholic lectionary practice. I'm afraid you misunderstand me--I'm not at all saying that Roman Catholic's affirm "sola scriptura" --I'm simply noting that it's interesting that despite their general rejection of sola scriptura (which you have noted in this thread) they still end up with their divine readings in worship consisting of "Scripture alone."

Now I believe "sola scriptura" in respect to tradition is summed up very well in the excellent statement you made earlier in the thread:
"I stand with the magisterial Reformers in accepting "catholic" doctrines which are supported in Scripture and recognized by the church and tradition as such. In other words, we do not throw out the doctrines which are universally accepted by the church and tradition but we do recognize that they can only be accepted as they are proven by Scripture. Thus, the tradition is a secondary authority and therefore binding unless one can show overwhelmiingly that these "catholic" or universally accepted doctrines are not Scriptural."

On DB Knox--I believe his views on the sacraments became more radical throughout his life--this could possibly be an explanation for the seemingly different position on the sacraments in the book of DB Knox which you have (or he could just be retaining the traditional term "sacrament" (but in a very loose sense) for baptism).

But what I am saying--at least as concerns his view on baptism in his later years is the position maintained by virtually everyone I have spoken with (Sydney Anglican ministers and others) who are familiar with D.B.Knox and his writings.

[Longer quote of DB Knox in next post]


Now a much longer example of what I'm talking about regarding D.B. Knox's denial of baptism as a sacrament instituted by Christ can be seen in the following quote (this an excerpt from D.B.Knox's writings provided on another forum discussing D.B.Knox's views):

This section can be found in “D.Broughton Knox Selected Works Volume II - Church and Ministry”; ed. K. Birkett; Matthias Media 2003; p277-282.

Beginning of Quote/
THE BAPTISM OF THE GREAT COMMISSION
Paul’s use of the word ‘baptism’ with regard to the discipling of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses (1 Cor 10:2) is semimetaphoric. Water baptism, the washing of the body to indicate the cleansing of the life from old habits and actions, is used by him in its derived meaning of discipleship, but water is fading into the background. There was water in the sea and in the clouds. In this sense the Israelites could be said to be in the midst of water, but no water touched them. The concept of cleansing (cf Acts 22:16) has quite disappeared and in its place the derived meaning of baptism as accepting the teaching and submitting to the leader as disciples has taken its place.

A fully metaphorical use of the concept of baptizing as discipling is in Jesus’ last words to his apostles in Matthew 28. He is sending them to bring the nations of the world into the knowledge of the triune God. They are to disciple the nations, and to convey to them the teaching of their new Lord. The nations and their cultures are to be transformed through the knowledge of the truth. Jesus calls this ‘baptizing the nations’. He commanded the eleven disciples

Go and make all the nations disciples, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all whatever I commanded you (Matt 28:19-20).

This ‘great commission’ of Jesus contains no reference to administering water baptism. The reference to baptizing is entirely metaphorical in line with other uses of the word by Jesus. It is a command to proclaim the news of the Messiah’s coming to the nations to make them disciples of the true God, to immerse the nations into the revealed character of God so that their whole way of life is changed and their cultures sanctified (cf Rev 21:24).

This conclusion is supported by the following considerations.
Our Lord used the words ‘baptism’ and ‘baptize’ in purely metaphorical ways without any reference to water.

(a) Thus he spoke of his death as his baptism on two occasions as recorded in the Gospels. “I have a baptism to be baptized with” (Luke 12:50); “are you able to drink of the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with” (Mark 10:38).

(b) The baptism of the Spirit which Jesus predicted the disciples would experience was also a purely metaphorical baptism with no reference or relationship to water baptism.

Jesus contrasted baptism with the Spirit very sharply with water baptism. The one excluded the other. He told his disciples: “John indeed baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). When this promise was fulfilled a few days later in the upper room, it was fulfilled in circumstances which excluded any association with water baptism. This confirms the conclusion that when Jesus spoke of baptizing with the Holy Spirit, the word ‘baptizing’ was purely metaphorical. The same is true of John the Baptist’s and of Paul’s use of the phrase ‘baptizing in the Holy Spirit’.

Like Jesus, John contrasted baptism in the Spirit as sharply as possible with water baptism. “I baptize you with water unto repentance he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, whose fan is in his hand and he shall thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor” (Matt 3:11 - 12). John’s baptism was a real baptism of cleansing of the body with water; the Messiah’s baptism was a metaphorical baptism and a metaphorical cleansing. But the experience would be real enough; it would be the removal by the Spirit of God of evil persons from among the people of God by the fire of judgement, metaphorical fire but real judgement, real cleansing of the people of God.

That ‘baptize’ in the phrase ‘baptize in the Spirit’ is metaphorical is confirmed by Paul’s language. He wrote to the Corinthians: “In one Spirit into one body we were all baptized, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13). There are two references in this verse to the experience of Christians receiving the one Spirit of God who unites us into one body of Christ. Both references are couched in water terms. This is natural. In the Old Testament, water, the life-giving element in an arid land, was frequently used as a symbol of the Spirit of God (cf Ezek 36:25; Joel 2 et al,). The second water term, ‘drink’, in Paul’s verse is plainly metaphorical. He wrote that Christians all drink of the one Spirit. To drink of the Spirit is a water metaphor, based on Jesus’ own language in John 4:14 and 7:37. This uncontrovertable water metaphor for receiving the Spirit in the second half of the parallel carries with it the metaphorical character of the reference to water in the first half of the parallel. ‘Baptized in the Spirit’ and ‘made to drink of the Spirit’ are both metaphors. If the first half of the parallel were real water, it would make the second half very harsh phraseology.

A confirmation that Jesus’ reference to baptism in the great commission is purely metaphorical, and not a command to administer water baptism, is the fact that none of the references to water baptism in Acts or in 1 Corinthians 1 suggest that water baptism as practised by the apostles was baptism into the name of the Trinity. It is always baptism into the name of Jesus or of the Lord Jesus, or into the name of Christ (1 Cor 1:13). Thus Peter, in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, invited his hearers to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. He could hardly have said these words if he had understood Jesus to have commanded him some ten days before to baptize converts into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ words in the great commission did not have reference to the administration of the rite of water baptism, as though our Lord’s last words to his disciples on the eve of his ascension to his throne of glory was to instruct them in the use of a ritual formula, but it was a commission to preach the gospel of the forgiveness of sins in his name to all the nations. The other Gospels’ reporting of the same commission confirm this interpretation. Luke has “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations” (Luke 24:47) and in Acts 1:8 “you shall be my witnesses ... unto the uttermost parts of the earth”. John has “as the Father has sent me, so I send you ... whosoever sins you forgive, they are forgiven ... “ (John 20:21).

Matthew reports Jesus’ words as: “Disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20). ‘To disciple’, ‘to baptize’ and ‘to teach’ are here synonyms. Jesus is commanding his apostles to bring the whole world into the knowledge of the true God and as a consequence to Christianize the cultures of the world so that they might bring their contributions to the city of God (Rev 21:26). Isaiah had prophesied these things (Isa 60:3). Note that it is the nations that are to be baptized. By the preaching of the gospel they are to accept the lordship of the Christ, and to obey all that he as their leader commands. The nations of the world are to be baptized into the triune God as the nation of Israel was baptized into Moses. The phrase ‘to baptize the nations’ is itself plainly metaphorical. Only individuals can be the subjects of water baptism and the whole context confirms that the word here is fully metaphorical and has no reference to water baptism.

This conclusion is made more sure by Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 1. He regarded water baptism as of no importance. He cannot remember whom he baptized two or three years before, only few though they were. And he added emphatically “The Lord did not send me to baptize” (1 Cor 1:17). It is inconceivable that Paul could have said this if the Lord had commanded his apostles in his last solemn commission to administer water baptism, for Paul was vividly conscious that there was nothing lacking in his commission as Christ’s apostle: “In nothing was I being the very chiefest apostle” (2 Cor 12:11); “I reckon I am not a whit behind the very chiefest of the apostles” (2 Cor 11:5).

Paul was pre-eminently the apostle of the nations. “He that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me unto the apostleship of the nations” (Gal 2:8). If in his last commission Jesus had sent his apostles to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them” with water baptism, it is inconceivable that Paul, the apostle of the nations, could have said “Christ did not send me to administer water baptism”, if Christ had sent all the other apostles to do this very thing to converts from the nations!

Jesus told his apostles to disciple all the nations. The way his words are often translated, “to make disciples of all nations”, allows for a misconception to arise. It is the nations that are to be discipled, baptized and taught, not merely individuals out of the nations. The gospel will heal the nations and in the book of Revelation the nations shall walk in the light of the glory of God and bring their treasures to the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 21:24, 26; 22:2). This glorious result of the exaltation of the Messiah had been prophesied in the Old Testament (Isa 11:10, 12; 25:7; 49:6, 7; 52:15). All the nations, that is the peoples and their cultures, are to be Christianized by the knowledge of the triune God. Christ’s commission to his followers is to baptize the nations, to bring them under his leadership, as their Lord and their teacher.

(A Footnote: The Greek of Matthew 28:19-20 supports the metaphorical interpretation of ‘baptizing’ in this verse. The main verb is ‘disciple [the nations], the three other verbs are all supporting participles. The main verb is an aorist, that is, it is punctiliar describing a distinct action. The participle ‘go’ is similarly an aorist. The two other participles which follow are both in the present tense, implying ongoing activity. The nations are to be discipled by being immersed into the full knowledge of the triune God and what this implies for Christian living: that is, they are to be progressively taught of the true God and the body of doctrine which Christ revealed. It is worth noting that two important early manuscripts, Vatican and Beza, have altered the present participle ‘baptizing’ into an aorist to conform to the punctiliar action of water baptism, which is experienced once and is not an ongoing activity. By the time these manuscripts were copied the ecclesiastical interpretation of this verse was dominant, and has remained dominant until the present.)

The conclusion is clear. ‘Baptize’ in Matthew 28 is fully metaphorical, as were both the other two applications of the word by Jesus (Spirit baptism and suffering baptism). In none of these three uses of the metaphor of baptism by Jesus is there any reference to the practice of water baptism, inaugurated by John and continued by his disciples, not only into the ministry of Jesus while John was alive (John 4:2), but also into the apostolic age after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 2:38). But it is worth noting again that Jesus himself did not follow this practice of administering water baptism (John 4:2), and Paul regarded it as a matter of indifference, having no relationship to the gospel he was commissioned to preach. In fact he put the two activities in sharp contrast (1 Cor 1:17) for the emphasis in the Greek falls heavily on “not to baptize”.
/End of Quote

Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

William said...

Sorry I meant to break up that post into two parts before sending.

Charlie J. Ray said...

William,

Thanks for sending that quote to me. Honestly, I'm shocked that the elder Knox held such a position. In fact, the first part of your post is essentially what the younger Knox said to me the other day and prompted me to post what I did from J. C. Ryle at the Church Society website.

I sincerely hope the Sydney Diocese doesn't buy into that view? It is essentially an Anabaptist position and goes way beyond the position taken by any of the English or Continental Reformers, including Zwingli!

This also explains why our rector has not baptized his own daughter. He has performed baptisms of other children by request of the parents but his own 8 year-old daughter has never been baptized.

He also rejects the Westminster Standards and the Lambeth Articles, the Irish Articles, etc. I think Peter Jensen is more balanced because he is at least a 5 point Calvinist. I'm not sure throwing out the 1662 BCP is a good idea. I would favor updating the language to a modern version without deleting anything.

David also will not read the Decalogue. I have suggested several times that we do that at least once a month and each time he has an excuse. He said that we do that once a year at Lent.

In light of this recent comment and quote, I think I need to confront him on this. In fact, I have asked several times if he would loan me books or articles written by his father and he has only done so twice. the first one was merely a collection of radio shows transcribed dealing with moral issues. The last one was a copy of DB Knox's commentary on the 39 Articles, which is very brief--less than 100 pages.

This last bit of exegesis on DBK's part is totally wrong by the account of almost every commentator I have ever consulted. It is indeed most troubling. I will have to look into this further.

Sincerely,

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Regarding the term "tradition," I was referring to tradition as in Reformed and Protestant traditions such as having a church with the authority to produce creeds, confessions of faith, and church discipline. I have in mind the 5 solas, the 39 Articles, the Westminster Standards, etc.

Charlie

Hughuenot said...

Was Schaeffer ready to pope near the end of his life? http://catholicbridge.com/downloads/frank_schaeffer_on_francis_catholic.mp3

Charlie J. Ray said...

You're confused. Franky Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, became Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholic. The fact, however, is that the Eastern Orthodox Church is apostate because it is semi-pelagian and practices some of the same idolatries that Rome does, namely prayers to the saints and icons, veneration of the saints, "real presence" in the creatures of bread and wine, etc.

The problem with Francis Schaeffer, Sr., was that he was a reconstructionist. That theology leads to Rome or the Orthodox church because it is more concerned with cultural transformation and the power of christendom than with biblical truth. Abortion is evil but without the Protestant Reformation and the five solas of the Reformation no amount of morality--including rejecting abortion--means anything. Romans 6:23 No amount of good works can merit anything other than hell. Only the alien righteousness of Christ can justify the sinner before God. (Romans 10:1-4; Philippians 3:9)

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