Calvinist Calvinist Dialogue and Calvinist Dialogue


I have not really defended Sola Scriptura. Indeed, it is quite consistent with my argument to say that there are also traditions conveyed by the apostles who are in some authoritarian way. What I'm asking is whether the words of God are given Last authority over everything else, including church practice. Should the church, its traditions, our theology, and even the apostles themselves submit to the words of God or not? Is it the final authority? That is the question.

We argue as in Galatians 1: 8-9 Paul tells the Galatians to reject his own teaching if he departs from the words of God which he preached to them. And the very same argument applies even if he were speaking only to the Judaizers; he was clearly telling someone to reject his teaching if he deviated from the word of God. Paul wrote:

Galatians 1: 8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven preach another gospel besides the one we preach to you, let them be under the curse of God! As we have said, now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel other than what you have accepted, let them be under God's curse! "

We might also consider how Paul rebukes Peter in Antioch because he was "condemned" for "not acting according to the truth of the gospel." Here Paul rebukes a fellow apostle for not conforming his practice to the word of God. Again, the word of God has authority over the apostles:

Galatians 2: 11-16 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him because he was doomed. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they came, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group … When I saw that they were not acting according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before all they: "You are a Jew, but you live as a Gentile and not as a Jew. How, then, do you force the Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? We who are Jews by birth and not sinful, the Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.

In rebuking his people for following pagan religious practices, God told his people through Isaiah: "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of the dawn. 8:20

Finally, Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day:

Mark 7: 8, 13 You have abandoned the commandments of God and are clinging to the traditions of men … so you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have passed on. And you do a lot of things like that.

* * *

I said that my questions were compatible with the idea that tradition is also somehow authoritarian. In fact, the traditional Protestant definition of Sola Scriptura never stated that the Bible is the only authority that exists, but it is the only infallible and ultimate authority that exists. At any rate, as I said, my argument is that the argument does not depend on the rejection of all other authorities, he simply asks whether Paul kept his apostolic authority under the authority of God's words and commanded the Galatians to do the same. . . .

The real question, then, seems to be whether Paul received his apostolate directly from Jesus himself or from the other apostles. Here, I again think that Galatians is crucial. Paul writes:

"Paul, an apostle – not sent by men or by men, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead" – Galatians 1: 1

"I want you to know, brethren, that the gospel I preached is not something the man invented. I have received no man, neither have I been taught; but received it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. "- Gal. 1: 11-12

Or consider:

"Through him [Jesus] and for his name's sake we have received grace and apostleship to call people of all nations to the obedience that comes from faith. "- Rom. 1: 5

"Am I not an apostle? Did not I see Jesus our Lord? "- 1 Cor. 9: 1

It is incorrect to regard St. Paul as some kind of spiritual "solitary patrolman", by himself, without any particular ecclesiastical loyalty, since he was commissioned by Jesus as an Apostle. In his conversion experience, Jesus informed Paul who would tell him what to do (Acts 9: 6, cf. 9:17). He went to see St. Peter at Jerusalem for fifteen days to be confirmed in his calling (Galatians 1:18), and fourteen years later was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Galatians 2: 1-2, 9). He was also sent by the Church at Antioch (Acts 13: 1-4), who was in touch with the Church at Jerusalem (Acts 11: 19-27). Later, Paul related to Antioch (Acts 14: 26-28).

Acts 15: 2 states: ". . . Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were assigned to go to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders on this issue. " The next verse refers to Paul and Barnabas "being sent on the way by the church". Paul did what he was. commanded by the Council of Jerusalem (where he played no major role), and Paul and Barnabas were expelled, or commissioned by the council (15: 22-27), and shared their obligatory teachings in their missionary journeys: . . he gave them for the observance of the decisions which had been made by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem "(Acts 16: 4).


The Council of Jerusalem certainly considered its infallible and guided by the Holy Spirit itself. The records we have of him do not even record much discussion on biblical proof texts, and the main question was circumcision (from which there are many Scripture passages). Paul accepted his authority and proclaimed his teachings (Acts 16: 4).

In addition, Paul seems to be passing his office to Timothy (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1: 6, 13-14; 2 Tim 4: 1-6), and tells him to pass his office in turn (2 Tim 2 : 1-2), which would be another indication of the apostolic succession in the Bible.

The attempt to pretend that St. Paul was somehow on his own, disconnected from the institutional church, has always failed, as unscriptural. Protestants disapprove of institutions, but we Catholics are like the Church that Jesus Christ established, initially led by St. Peter.


David, if you agree that Paul was commissioned as an apostle "by Jesus himself," then does he get his apostleship from Jesus or Peter?


Both. Why do you feel compelled to make a choice? It is the usual Protestant dichotomy "or"beautiful mentality. Calvin does the same thing over and over again.


And, indeed, why do you say that "fourteen years later was commissioned by Peter, James and Johnn (Galatians 2: 1-2,9) "? But you put aside the intermediate verses in which Paul states that these men "did not add anything to his message" and that their high esteem "makes no difference" to Paul or to God. There is also the interesting incident in Gal. 2 where Paul rebukes Peter "in his face" for his "hypocrisy" because he "did not walk in the line of the gospel" (Galatians 2: 11-15).

And? Peter was hypocritical in this case, and Paul rebuked him. They had no theological differences. Popes were reprimanded throughout history (for example, by St. Catherine of Siena, St. Dominic, St. Francis). It does not follow that they have no authority. Jesus rebuked and scandalized the Pharisees, but told His followers to follow His teachings, even though they acted as hypocrites (Mt 23: 2 ff.).


You are trying to define the Bible against the Church, which is a typical Protestant and ultra-unbiblical methodology. The Bible never does this. I have already given the example of the Council of Jerusalem, which clearly shows the infallibility ofthe church.

The Bible repeatedly teaches that the Church is unfailing; therefore, the hypothetical rejection of the (a true, historical) Church, as supposedly going against the Bible, is impossible according to the Bible. It is not a situation that can arise, because of the protection promised by God.

What the Bible says is to reject those who cause divisions, which is the very essence of the beginning of Protestantism: schism, sectarianism and division. It is Protestantism that has moved away from the historical Church, which is unfailing and unfailing (see also 1 Tim 3:15).

But again, none of this has direct relevance to the question of whether, in Gal. 1: 8-9, Paul says that his authority is derived from the preaching of God's words and should be rejected if he departs from it. Here are the three questions I asked Alan:

1. Do you agree that Paul told the Galatians that their own apostolic authority was derived from the preaching of God's words and would be rejected if he departed from the words of God (1: 8-9)?

2. Do you agree that the Bible contains the words of God?

3. Do you agree that the current church still derives its authority from the words of God and should be rejected if it departs from it? Or is the church's current authority different from Paul's?

How would you respond to these questions? . . .

Right now, my main issues involve Gal. 1: 8-9 and the nature of apostolic authority. . . . they ground all subsequent questions as they determine whether or not all teachings of any church should be tested against the words of God. Is the church under the authority of God's words or not?


The only true Church is and always will be in harmony with the inspired revelation of God, the Bible; yea. So we reject any form of Protestantism because they fail in this test. it is it is not a question of one thing being "below" the other. All this is the invention of the 16th century and the biblically sola scriptura. The Bible presents the Bible-Tradition-Church as a "three-legged stool": the rule of faith. All are in harmony; everyone works together.

And is any church and teacher rejected, which deviates from the words of God, as Paul commands? That is the fundamental question.


Right; that is why we reject any form of Protestantism, because all fail the test of fidelity to the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures, and the historical pedigree that the parents always taught was necessary. Every heretic in the history of the world turned his nose to the institutional Church and passed through Scripture alone. It is the heretical worldview to do this precisely because they know they can not prove that their views were passed through history in an unbroken succession.

Therefore, heresies and Protestantism had to play with history to pretend that it fits with their views, or to ignore it completely.

Dave, where does Paul say he got his apostleship somehow from Pete or the other apostles?

I gave several passages showing that Paul was under the authority of the Church in various ways. Of course, all authority ultimately comes from God (Paul was called before he was born: Galatians 1:15). It is the corrosion of the ultimate source against the secondary human source (the Church), which is the problem in its approach and that of Protestantism in general. You do not like institutional and human authority and you do not have enough faith to believe that God can and does preserve the faith, so you try to undermine it by fallacious arguments, as at present.

No doubt you do not even realize you're doing it. To do this is automatic in Protestantism; It's like breathing. It's like the fish that does not know it's in the water. Everything comes from rejecting the infallibility of the Church (which is something that sola scriptura always implies).

Are not the first two chapters of Galatians a very exhaustive and emphatic statement that he did not receive the gospel he preacheded "of any man, nor by the action of men"? "Paul, an apostle – not sent by man or man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead" (Galatians 1: 1) "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the I received no man, nor was I taught, but received it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. "(Galatians 1: 11-12) How can" both "be when Paul says "No, not of man or of man, but of Jesus himself.

Anyway, as I said, I'm more interested in these three questions, and I'm curious how you answered them.

In Galatians 1-2, Paul is referring to his initial conversion. But even so, God made sure that there was someone else around to incite him to be baptized (Ananias: Acts 22: 12-16). He received the revelation initially and then sought to have it confirmed by the authority of the Church (Gal 2: 1-2); then his authority was accepted or confirmed by James, Peter, and John (Gal. 2: 9). Thus we see that the Bible does not place the divine call directly from God, against the authority of the Church, as you do. You do this because it is Protestant human tradition to do so; period, and because the Protestant should always undermine the authority of the Church and the Catholic Church in order to strengthen their own anti-system, which was established against the historical Church in the first place.

We believe in the faith that the Church is infallible and unfailing, based on many biblical indications. It is theoretically possible (speaking in terms of philosophy or epistemology) that the Church could deviate and have to be rejected, but the Bible discards this. We believe in the faith that has not and will not.

Protestants do not have enough faith to believe that God could preserve an infallible Church, even though they may gather even more faith than this, which is necessary to believe in an infallible Bible written by a group of sinners and hypocrites.

We simply have more faith than you. It is a supernatural gift. We believe that the authoritative Church is also a fundamental part of God's plan to save the souls of men. We follow the model of the Council of Jerusalem, while you reject or ignore it, because it does not fit the tradition of man-made Protestantism and a supposedly infallible Church.

Dave, this is the key issue. I asked, "Is the church under the authority of God's words or not?"

His response was: "yea." But then, just a sentence later, you wrote: "It's not a matter of one thing being" below "the other."

Exactly. Iyou're not really saying "yes". You're trying to say "both." But that is not what Paul is saying in Gal. 1: 8-9. He says that he – even as an apostle – should be rejected if he departs from the word of God. If he departs from the words of God, then he is "cursed" and he commands the Galatians to reject him. Why would he give such a command, unless his own apostate authority, though he were, derived from the words of God?

It is "under" the authority of the Bible in the sense that it does not contradictory what is in the Bible. It is not "under" in terms of the authority of the Bible being intrinsically superior to the authority of the Church. The Bible presents both and never implies that one is "superior" than the other.

It is a question of definition and meaning. I know what you're driving because I used to believe the same thing. But I also have to show where your thinking is unbiblical and I must challenge the premises underlying your questions. The whole thing is a much more complex issue than Protestants generally understand, because they have learned only one way of seeing things: sola scriptura and anti-institutionalism and anti-Catholicism (subtle or more pernicious opposition).

What is deviating from the word of God is the very notion of denominationalism, which is always considered an outrage in the New Testament; the rejection of apostolic succession, and of, for example, bishops (clearly present in the NT), or belief in a non-literal Eucharist, or a baptism that does not regenerate, or sola scriptura or faith alone (separation from justification and sanctification): the whole host of unbiblical teachings that are in Protestantism. That's why I left the system; wanting to follow Bible teachings more closely, the traditional moral teachings and the historic Christian Church.

Dave, you're stating that Paul's statement in Gal. 1: 8-9 is purely hypothetical? In other words, he is not really telling the Galatians that they should test his words against the words of God because his words and the words of GodDo I ever conflict?

If so, you should consider that Paul writes "whether we or an angel from heaven… What if anyone is preaching a gospel different from what you have accepted. "Note that Paul is placing himself in the same class as" an angel from heaven "or" anyone "in terms of his condemnation if he departs from the word of God. As Alan correctly observed, Galatians was written specifically to persuade the Galatians to reject the false gospel of the Judaizers who was under the curse of God. Paul is asking for a real rejection of the true false teachers and then he is included in the list. He says that all teachers and all persons claiming authority are subject to the words of God. So the command here can not be purely hypothetical. It is real and a commandment for all Christians.

Galatians 1: 8-9 is very real; thus we reject Protestantism where it departs from the word of God. The Bible teaches that the true Church is infallible and unfailing. This is a promise from God. Or whether you accept it in faith or not. This is thThe task: do you accept all that the Bible teaches, or only selectively, with man-made traditions added to it?

There is a false church and a false gospel that must be rejected, and there is also the only true Church that can not fail doctrinally, based on the protection of God. You affirm the first thing, but reject the second, which is your difficulty (accept one part of the Bible but not another). We accept both things and have no difficulty.

Incidentally, observe the criterion that Paul gives to the Galatians to determine the false teachers. He does not say "If anyone comes to you and is not authorized by the other apostles" or "If anyone comes to you and is not under the auspices of the official Church ". He is very clear. He says "if anyone preaches a gospel to you other than the one you have accepted." That is his criterion. And it is by this criterion that he resorts to the Galatians to reject the Judaizers and even to himself, if he deviates from the words of God.

like this what? It depends on what he is writing at the time. In Acts 16: 4 he calls for infallible advice from the Church: telling his followers to obey him as he himself does. Again, you insist on putting one thing against another (Paul's authority versus that of the Church): one thing the Bible does not do. In Galatians 1: 8-9 Paul tells the Galatians to reject any gospel that is different from what he has presented to them. Duh! Of course he would say that! He preached the truth to them. In the same book, he tells how this gospel was confirmed as true by the Church (Gal 1:18, 2: 1-2, 9). No opposition. The Church is guided by God to preserve apostolic truth.

So you reject Protestantism because it "departs from the word of God." But do you test Roman Catholic teaching by the same standard? No, because "The Bible teaches that the true Church is infallible and unfailing … there is also the only truth Church that can not fail doctrinally, based on the protection of God .. "

Yes; I made a career out of it. It's my specialty. I always thought Catholic teaching was complete. harmony with biblical revelation.

So wait a minute, you're not just rejecting Protestantism because it's not Roman Catholicism?

I reject him for the reasons I have given: he fails in the test of biblical teaching, in the historical Church, and also in consistent logic.

Again, this goes directly back to the ultimate authority. Are we really going to test all the claims against the Scriptures? Or just the claims of non-Roman Catholics? And what does Paul say? Was he an apostle of the one true Church? And does he command the Galatians to reject his authority if he departs from the word of God despite the fact that he is an apostle of the true Church?

I've been playing your game all the time. You want the Scriptures; I'm giving it to you. Protestantism fails this test. I keep talking about the Jerusalem Council: a very "biblical" thing. You have consistently ignored it because it does not fit with your preconceived notions of authority, which come from man-made traditions. I gave you many Scriptures. All you can do is repeat Gal 1; 8-9 more and more. After I answer that in ten different ways, it gets old when you repeat it for the eleventh time.

If you want to weep "Bible, Bible," then at least give us more than one ticket! If all you can do is repeat your mantra and refuse to interact with opposing arguments, the dialogue will soon be over.

See chapter 1 of Galatians.

Just like I said. I am a prophet. I wrote, "All you can do is repeat Gal 1: 8-9 several times." Eleven minutes later, you did just that. I have provided perhaps 25 Bible passages or more. You give it a break 25s: Galatians 1. We respond 25 times, then you give the same passage again, as if repeating a falsehood (no infallible Church, St. Paul as a loner) makes it more true. Should that impress those who love the Bible?

God knows[ing] of the gospel who has authority and the words of God who have authority. This is the point that Paul is so clear about doing in Gal. 1. The Galatians received the gospel through the preaching of Paul, but the message was from God. That is why Paul can say that even he or an angel from heaven should be rejected if he preaches a different message. Because the different message would not be the message of God if you believe (like all of us) that the message that Paul preached to them originally was the true gospel. And that is why Paul asserts that his authority is derived and should be emphatically rejected if he departs from the gospel. He is saying, "I entrusted to you the words that God gave me. Now you have them. And now you must reject anyone until me, if they teach something different.

Why is this "novelty" to you, as if it were a great discovery? This is all sayithat's it the gospel is the gospel. A = a. Did you think anyone would think otherwise? So if even Paul came back and preached a false gospel (because we believe that people can turn away from faith, based on the Bible, while the Calvinists do not), then people should reject him and him.

We believe that the Church preserves this true gospel in perpetuity, because it is infallible and unfailing. Even the disciples can walk away (Judas is described as "elected" but fell). But the only true Church can not. False claimants of the so-called "true Church" status may fall unless they are the Church established by Jesus Christ, with St. Peter as the first pope.

Now the question is, what happens if a church turns around and begins preaching a gospel different from the gospel given by God?

So we reject that. But indefectibility prevents this from happening in the case of a truth ChurCH, as I have stated about 7-8 times or more. Maybe, if I repeat things enough, as you do, they will eventually sink, since what I say is true: directly based on Sacred Scripture.

Does the Catholic Church have the same authority derived from Paul?

Yes, from God. It was initiated by our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 16: 18-19).

Should they also be kept in the standard that Paul defended by his own authority?

Yes. But that also requires accepting in faith what God says about the one Church, as recorded in the inspired Scriptures. If you do not care about these passages, then you will not have a biblical conception of what the Church is.

Or do they have a greater authority than Paul?

Yes; the Council of Jerusalem was a greater authority than Paul since he had sent it (Acts 15: 22-25), and he proclaimed "for observance" the "decisions which had been attained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem" (Acts 16 ). : 4). Thus, the Council, representing the infallible and binding authority of the Church (on and off), had greater authority than it.

Calvinists have the bizarre position of holding that a person who was truly a follower of Jesus Christ could not fall (perseverance of the saints; irresistible grace); therefore, Paul could not do it, and all this is a debatable point, from that perspective. However, the Church that God established could fall out of the true gospel. Classicist and absurd anti-biblical individualist. . .

We believe that the Church preserves this true gospel in perpetuity, because it is infallible and unfailing.

Right. Again, this is the fundamental question. Paul orders the Galatians to test the message that he himselfit hurts against the words of God. He says, "Reject me if I deviate from that. My authority depends on the preaching of the words of God. I am under a curse if I deviate from the words of God. "

If you are a Calvinist, you believe that it is not possible for Paul to do this; So all this is a lot of noise for nothing.

Does the Catholic Church say the same thing? [Is] is also willing to command Christians to test their teaching against the words of God and reject it if they deviate from the words of God? Or is it infallible in a way that the apostle Paul was not?

Yes. It is infallible and unfailing; therefore it is different in essence from an apostle. I've said that now, maybe 15 times? It takes 50 times to sink to you? I can cut and paste 50 times if you want. (I.e.

Paul says that it is quite possible and conceivable that he could fall, and that his salvation was not yet secured, but apostasy is never applied to the Christian Church:

1 Corinthians 9:27 but I punch my body and subdue it, so that it does notto preach to others I myself should be disqualified.

Philippians 3: 11-14 that, if possible, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I've ever gotten it or it's already perfect; but I continue to make it mine, because Christ Jesus made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I made my own. . . I press on toward the goal for the prize of the ascending call of God in Christ Jesus.

So, you have exactly back. You have to exalt the authority of the individual over the institution (being Protestant), even if that is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches.

Photo credit: Saints Peter and Paul (c.1620): anonymous (Roman school) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


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