. . . to the weblog of
jon p. amos, hollie's
husband & dad of
ethan, levi, finn,
ellie, marley,
& sullivan

My Photo

my complete profile
theology pintnight
hollie's xanga
kids' photos

blog roll
formerly powered by

bible gateway
daily office

Seminary, etc
Why "A minor"?
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
July 2009
August 2009
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011

A minor


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Society of the Blessed Bifurcation
My Catholic friend Guido writes: "If the claims of the Catholic Church are true at all, they are all true and binding on every man. If they are not true, the whole system becomes the most damnable sort of lie." Likewise, Catholic husband of our old friend Sarah, Dave Hodges writes: "Either the Catholic Church is who She claims to be, or the Catholic Church is the grandest and most fraudulent lie ever conceived in the history of the world."

I understand what these guys are saying, but I believe they've set up what is ultimately a false dilemma. And I hate to say it, but such heightened rhetoric seems to be characteristic of relatively recent converts still in the "cage stage."

As a Protestant who grew up in a largely Baptist region and around Protestant confessions that call the Pope the Antichrist, I always wondered about Catholics and their standing in the Church. Then, sometime in high school or college (I forget), I read an endnote in Peter Leithart's The Kingdom & the Power (P&R, 1993, p. 238), and I never wondered again. Here's the relevant part of the endnote:

The question of Roman Catholicism is particularly pressing for many evangelicals, especially since some prominent Protestant leaders have recently converted to Rome. I have fundamental and serious objections to Roman Catholic theology and practice, but I do not believe that Roman Catholic churches are uniformly false churches. To put it briefly, I would argue that...many congregations of the Roman Catholic Church are, despite grievous errors, true churches of Jesus Christ. They adhere to many of the basic teachings of Scripture; though their interpretation of the sacraments is fallacious, they do administer the sacraments (sometimes more faithfully than Protestants); and they are frequently serious about discipline. Other Roman Catholic congregations differ little from the most radical sectors of mainline Protestantism, and have virtually nothing in common with orthodox Christianity.
     For a provocative discussion of these issues, see James B. Jordan, The Sociology of the Church: Essays in Reconstruction (Tyler, Tex.: Geneva Ministries, 1986), 5-11, 51-82.
So, sorry, guys, as much as I'm tempted to bite and say, "Well, then, the Catholic Church is a lie," I don't really believe that. How could I, when so much of the Catholic Church has so much to commend it? But I do look forward to the day when you chill out, drop the exaggerated bifurcation of converts, and start thinking like more mature Catholics.

jon :: link :: comment ::

This page is powered by Blogger.
Site Meter